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Best Foods for Cardio Workouts

It is as important to give your body fuel before you exercise as after. However, you may be wondering the best foods to eat in order to maximize your body’s benefit from your workout. Here are a few of the best types of fuel for efficient energy. 


If you need a quick snack to consume before you hit the gym, the banana may be the best option for you. Bananas are incredibly high in carbohydrates, which are a good source of direct energy to burn during your workout. Additionally, they have fiber and protein. The amount of energy provided by the nutrients in a banana is the perfect boost to begin your exercise routine. You can pack a banana in your workout bag and eat it prior to exercising, or you could incorporate it into a delicious breakfast, such as on top of oatmeal or in a pre-workout smoothie. Bananas are packed with nutrition and come with their own holder. 


Although pasta is traditionally known for being a combination of eggs, flour, and butter, topped with a rich tomato sauce, there are many ways to make it a healthier dish in order to feel better while you are exercising. Try an alternative pasta base, such as a vegetable noodle like zucchini or squash, which will also give it a unique flavor. For a healthy pasta sauce, try using a base of mostly tomatoes and a healthier oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, for a marinara. If you prefer puttanesca, throw in some garlic, olives, and chopped parsley. This way, you can enjoy a delicious pasta dish that is easy on your gut and will fuel you for your workout. 


Nuts tend to be high in fat, so it is important to consume them in moderate, but there are some notable nuts and seeds that can contribute to a better workout experience for you. Nuts such as cashews and walnuts are beneficial for the health of your heart. Eat a handful of sunflower seeds before lacing up your sneakers to improve the health of your cardiovascular systems as well as your musculoskeletal systems. Almonds are one of the best choices, as they are delicious, nutritious, and can be incorporated into nut butters which can be put on a piece of fruit, such as an apple or banana, or whole grain toast. 


Homemade smoothies will save you money in the long run, and also offer much more nutritional benefit than the sugar bombs that are more common at smoothie shops. Try to avoid honeys and juices, and instead opt for natural sugars in fruits such as blueberries, kiwis, raspberries, and strawberries. Additionally, smoothies are a wonderful vehicle to incorporate vegetables into a sweet and delicious snack. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are packed with nutrients and will offer a refreshing flavor profile to your smoothie. For more liquidity, you can use almond milk or cashew milk, which are lower calorie options, or a nut butter for a kick in flavor. 


If you have time before your training session, consider cooking up some eggs. Eggs have high levels of amino acids, which are wonderful for athletes, and they are abundant in beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B. They can be consumed in almost any form to benefit your workout, except for hard boiled, as these can cause digestive problems. You can eat eggs by themselves as a snack, or throw in a variety of vegetables for a scramble, or even put them on top of high carbohydrate pre workout reliables, like rice or pasta. 

Finding the right foods for your particular exercise regimen does not have to be a difficult task. With these tips, you are guaranteed to have a great pre-workout meal, as well as reap the rewards from absorbing those nutrients before, during, and after your cardio session.