Illustrated by Mary Schafrath.
The key to a great workout starts long before you even leave your apartment. You want to put on gear that performs under pressure and grab a snack that keeps energy levels high without leaving you feeling stuffed.
If you exercise first thing in the morning, downing a big meal may not be appealing — or even feasible if you’re trying to get out the door quickly to avoid heading back to bed. About 30-90 minutes prior to exercising, you want to eat something that’s easy-to-digest, explains Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietician and American College Of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Specialist.
“Your pre-workout snack should be higher in carbs with some fat and protein,” Scritchfield says. “Without this morning meal, your body will be running on fumes. And, at some point your performance may suffer, potentially increasing your risk of injury.”
Carbs serve as fuel and deliver a quick hit of energy. If you're in a major rush, Scritchfield suggests eating fresh, whole fruit. Apples, pears, oranges, and grapes make an excellent, portable snack.
But, if you have five minutes to spare, a whole-grain bagel with a scoop of peanut butter and a sliced banana is what Scritchfield recommends. This combo delivers the nutrients you need for lasting energy without requiring a lot of prep. Now, that sounds like a super solution to us.