Many athletes have their usual pre-workout routine. A warm-up run, arm swings, and leg kicks are standard, but what's the standard source of fuel? Active bodies need quick fuel. Carbohydrates provide the fastest form of fuel for digestion and absorption. Why not protein or fat? They're good too! Just not ideal 30-60 minutes before exercise since they take longer to digest, so can leave you feeling a little nauseous and the fuel doesn't get to your muscles as quickly.
What are some good carbohydrate options 30-60 minutes before exercise?
- sports drink with pretzels
- cereal bar with a piece of fruit
- toast with honey and banana
- dried fruit and dry cereal
- waffles with maple syrup
- bagel or English muffin with jelly
- fresh fruit salad
The farther out from exercise, the more protein and fat you can eat. A good guideline is to consume a well-balanced meal 3-4 hours prior to your game/event. The best advice is to practice your pre-exercise fueling strategy at practice, not right before the game/race.