As someone who cares about their health and fitness, exercise should be an important part of your life. Sometimes, however, you may find yourself lacking the energy to get going or find that you fizzle out before getting to the end of your workout.
Not getting sufficient sleep can sometimes be the culprit for lacking the energy to exercise. If this isn't the case, though, then the foods we eat are frequently the primary cause of this lack of stamina. Exercise is an important expenditure of time and energy on your part. It is critical, therefore, to eat foods before exercising that give you the energy needed to have as productive a workout as possible. The following is a list of five natural foods that can help you with this.
Apples are known for being healthy in general, but they are also specifically good at giving you an energy boost for exercise. Eating whole apples, as opposed to the juice, gives you the soluble fiber you need to slow your body down in digesting the fructose contained in the apple. This is healthy in terms of not spiking your blood sugar levels, and it gives you a more sustained level of energy through your workout in contrast to a cup of coffee or some low-fiber, sugary treat.
Of course, it takes more than “an apple a day to keep the doctor away” as the old saying goes. That said, apples can be an important part of giving you the energy you need to do the other things that will also improve your health, and minimize those trips to the doctor's office. Additionally, apples are rich in vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant for maintaining your overall health.
This can be another part of your diet plan for giving you the energy to exercise. Honey has a blend of glucose and fructose for giving you energy, and it is believed that such a blend of carbs may be better than either of them alone. It also contains some vitamins and antioxidants that make it one of the healthiest sweeteners you can use.
The best part about honey is that, with its delicious taste, few people need much prompting to eat it. You can put it on a variety of other foods to add an invigorating sweetness to them. Just add a little to your breakfast smoothie or bowl of cereal and have that little extra skip in your step on the way to the gym.
Yogurt has been a favorite among health aficionados since long before Jamie Lee Curtis started doing commercials about it. Its probiotic benefits in helping to populate our guts with healthy bacteria are known to improve regularity and help with many digestive problems. This is critical to getting regular exercise because it's hard to feel like doing anything when you are afflicted with digestive issues.
Just as honey can be added to other foods to make them healthier, yogurt is great for adding things to in order to improve its health and energy benefits. In addition to a variety of fresh fruit, you can even add honey to it to sweeten it up a little more.
This is another food that is great to have before a workout. As with many whole fruits, its fiber content slows down your body's absorption of its carbs, which results in a steady energy lasting throughout your workout.
Similar to honey and yogurt, the flexibility of oatmeal in terms of what can be mixed with it is a huge plus. Adding flaxseed oil to it can give you an excellent pre-workout energy boost, and mixing in some protein powder if you eat it after your workout can help with your recovery. Add a variety of fruits or nuts, such as blueberries or almonds, for a boost in health, energy and taste.
A Healthy Trail Mix
Trail mix can be a healthy option for delivering the energy boost you may need for that next workout. Its mix of nuts and dried fruit can provide both the protein for sustained energy and the carbs for quick energy to start exercising and get you through to the end. That said, use caution when determining what trail mix you buy.
Many of the existing mixes can have a lot of added sugar and salt. Be sure to get a brand with as few additives as possible. For the ideal solution that is customized to your tastes, there are even plenty of recipes online to enable you to make your own - like this one from Meal Garden:
Energy and Nutrition for Your Mind and Body
Another positive aspect of many of the above foods is that they have a mix of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that our bodies need to enable us to operate at a peak level. You should not underestimate how exercise can make you feel good mentally and put us in a good mood.
Being energized for exercise is as important for our minds as it is for our bodies. This is especially important if you are in a field where you depend on a clear head and creativity for your success. Perhaps you are a marketing executive who has to come up with creative ad campaigns. Similarly, you may be a member of a nonprofit or an educational institution, and you're charged with finding unique fundraising ideas. Getting the blood flowing faster a few times a week gets it flowing faster to the brain as well and gets you mentally energized.