COLUMN: Pre-workout snacks to fuel your cardio gym session

Eating right before a workout is important.
Eating right before a workout is important.

Eating right before any workout is extremely important, to make sure your body has the fuel and energy to work muscles and maximise output.

For athletes, nutrition has always been a hot topic and unfortunately, there is a lot of false information and misconceptions when it comes to best practice.

While there isn’t a diet to suit every single type of workout - when it comes to cardio, you should know it’s all about balance. A healthy blend of carbs, protein and healthy fats will ensure you have the energy and endurance needed for a lengthy session, without having the added risk of a sugar crash!

And another thing – timing is everything. Working out on a full stomach is not only extremely difficult but is also counter-productive, due to the lack of digestion. Therefore, if you snack be sure to wait up to 30 minutes, and if eating a larger meal, be sure to wait at least 60-90 minutes to make sure you are sufficiently prepared for your workout.

Three popular meals/snacks to eat before cardio workouts include:

Whole wheat toast with avocado

Perfect for an early start! A combination of easy carbs and healthy fats will give the body exactly what it needs to start the day energised.

Fruit and low-fat fruit yoghurts OR Smoothies

Ideal for the 9-5 lifestyle, as it allows you to get the intake you need on the move. In addition to providing the necessary energy, smoothies can also provide you with most of your five-a-day in one go.

Oatmeal with banana and almonds

Quick and simple, this meal is appropriate for every moment of the day and will give you the carb-load necessary for a hard workout.