15 Best Foods to Eat Before Exercise

If you notice you quickly become exhausted while exercising, or if you simply want to push yourself that little bit further, diet may be the answer to your wishes.

Here are 15 high energy foods can help keep your engine running.

1. Apples

Quercetin is found in many foods, such as apples, bran and red onions. It is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and cell-energy-activating properties that benefit health and endurance in exercise.

Most of the quercetin is found in the skin of an apple, so make sure you don't remove it.

2. Bananas

A tasty and easily digested fruit, which contains an excellent mix of fast and slow carbohydrates to provide immediate and longer-term energy. That is why it is a very popular snack to have before exercise, as it provides immediate energy for the workout, and exercise the body uses those carbohydrates to fill glycogen stores.

Bananas are also famous for the potassium they contain, which is a mineral involved in muscle contraction. Lack of potassium can cause fatigue, cramping and dehydration. Look for a bunch of very ripe bananas. Turn them into puree, and then add ice cubes and freeze the mixture. The result is excellent when added to post-workout protein shake.

3. Bison

The protein of this animal contains little saturated fat and a high percentage of omega fats. When grazing at older ages, the bison accumulates more iron than cattle, and iron produces hemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen to the muscles.

When we have low levels of this mineral, the muscles do not receive enough oxygen and we run out of energy quickly. Like beef, bison provides a healthy dose of B vitamins, creatine and zinc. Not only does it have many health benefits, but it's also very tasty. Try cooking it with rice to avoid overcooking the bison.

4. Clams

As well as being an exceptional source of iron and lean protein, there is no food with a higher vitamin B12 content than clams. Vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining healthy nerves and red blood cells, as well as helping to manufacture DNA, including the cells involved in energy metabolism. Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause fatigue, as well as causing brain function to decrease.

Clams also contain tyrosine, which is used by the body to produce norepinephrine – a neurotransmitter that keeps the brain alert and reduces the effects of stress.

5. Coffee

The caffeine contained in a cup of coffee immediately stimulates the nervous system to increase alertness, stamina, energy and the desire to do things. Interestingly, it seems to have more effect on men than on women.

6. Eggs

Eggs contain leucine, an essential amino acid which is a key element in protein synthesis that can also generate energy during exercise.

The excellent protein in eggs delays the absorption of sugar from other foods you may have eaten, such as cereal, and keeps energy constant for hours. Eggs also have several B vitamins required for energy production.

7. Cabbage

This green giant is loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant involved in the synthesis of carnitine. Carnitine helps stimulate fat loss by transporting fatty acids to the mitochondria, where they are oxidized for energy.

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If the raw cabbage seems too bitter, prepare it in a sauce with garlic, sesame oil and a little lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Serve it hot as an additional dish.

8. Molasses

The fast-digesting sugars molasses contains help restore muscle glycogen levels, and its B vitamins, iron, magnesium and potassium will provide you with plenty of energy.

9. Oats

Oats cause carbohydrates to be released gradually into the bloodstream, and keep your energy and appetite levels under control.

By helping to stabilize energy levels, oats protect muscle glycogen during intense training. Add half meter of protein powder, a sliced banana and nuts to oatmeal to get a fabulous pre-workout shake.

10. Lean pork

It is as versatile and tasty as beef but cheaper. Even better, because you end up with a third less fat on your plate, but with the same amount of proteins, and more riboflavin and thiamine, two B vitamins that the body uses to convert the food you consume into energy.

11. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an extraordinary source of magnesium, a little consumed mineral which is critical for hundreds of biochemical reactions including blood sugar control, energy metabolism, muscle function and protein synthesis.

Toss the pumpkin seeds in the oven until they acquire a golden hue, and sprinkle them over oatmeal, salads or soup.

12. Quinoa

When you need to add substance to chicken or turkey breasts, use a slow-digesting whole grain cereal such as brown rice, millet or quinoa.

As these foods take a long time to digest, they do not help to release the hormones that accumulate fat, but they do help to maintain energy, which facilitates the recovery and development of the muscles. If possible, use South American quinoa as it contains more protein than the others.

13. Nuts

They are one of the star products of nature, really loaded with vitamins and minerals. Their unsaturated fat slows digestion, allowing us to provide our brain and our muscles with a continuous stream of energy throughout the day.

As nuts are a high-calorie snack, you only need a few to fill you up and give your body the beneficial nutrients, including omega 3 fatty acids.

14. Yerba mate

If you do not drink coffee but you want your energy to skyrocket, have a glass of this Argentinian delicacy. Produced from leaves of a bush in South America, yerba mate tea contains three different stimulants: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline.

As each cup of the herb contributes about 85 mg of caffeine (compared to 135 mg in coffee), it will not produce the nervousness that coffee often causes.

15. Yogurt

Probiotics (friendly bacteria of the intestine) are the nutritional benefits of yogurt which it is known for. It also contains a lot of zinc, which is vital for almost 100 chemical reactions that include the production of energy and testosterone, the immune system, and the synthesis of muscle protein.

Low levels of zinc impede the proper functioning of the thyroid, which can slow down the metabolism and make fat loss more difficult. The dense and creamy Greek yogurt contains up to twice the protein of normal yogurt.

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