You need energy before your run or your workout. But don’t just grab a chocolate bar—poor snack choices can affect your performance and even force you to cut short your routine. Worse, you may end up doing the moves incorrectly, which may increase your risk for sports injury.
Here ar some of the best snacks to eat before your workout. They’re packed with energy but are also low in fat. Some of them also have special nutrients or properties that can strengthen your muscles or lower your risk for muscle cramps.
Have an avocado
Avocados do contain fats, but the good kind: they reduce cholesterol and are thus crucial for overall, long-term body strength. One study among runners also found that that athletes need to maintain a certain level of fat—those who had less than 20% were more prone to injuries. That’s because extreme low-fat diets can make the muscles and joints weaker.
Bring a banana
Bananas are very high in potassium, so they can help prevent cramps while you’re running or exercising. They can help your body absorb fluids, and flood it with energizing carbohydrates. In fact one banana has as many carbs as two slices of bread—and they’re easy to carry in your fanny pack, too.
Treat yourself to chocolate milk
Chocolate milk is rich in calcium, vitamins, minerals—and the cocoa can help repair sore muscles. And really, do we need any excuse to eat or drink anything that has chocolate?
Go with yogurt
This food is easy to digest and yet is high in yogurt. That’s why it’s a great snack to take right before a workout. For a bonus dose of carbohydrates, sprinkle dried cranberries. (Read more tips on how to prepare for your yoga workout.)
Orange you glad you had a snack?
A single orange has all the vitamin C you need for a day. And it’s not just good for preventing the sniffles. The collagen content in oranges can keep your bones strong, lowering your risk for injuries. Eat orange slices or turn it into a cold, refreshing drink that you can take after your workout. Some people who go on a diet even make natural orange juice popsicles as a substitute for ice cream.
Munch on peanuts
Like avocados, peanuts contain the good kind of fat, which can help improve your endurance and create energy stores for your body, so it doesn’t burn muscle stores.