What do vegans eat before working out? Have you decided to become vegan and are looking for plant-based foods for your new diet plan? Although many assure you that there is no progress without eating meat, it is time to prove them wrong. Many vegans think that they are pressed for choice when it comes to pre- and post- workout meals. However, this is not true, as there are many options to choose from which are capable of providing the body with enough energy and more, both before and after a workout. If you need to get energy before training, foods of plant origin can help you improve performance, and thus achieve results.
Therefore, if you are on the lookout for simple vegan meals that can be had as pre-workout meals, then you have come to the right place! This post will serve as your vegan diet guide and leave you with simple meals propositions that can enhance your workout routine and help you develop the body of your dreams.
We have compiled a list of 10 vegan pre-workout meals that do not contain foods of animal origin. Even if you like to eat meat, we recommend that you try them and see for yourself their effect.
The importance of fuelling your body before workout
Vegan or non-vegan, quite irrelevant. Just as a car needs gas to run, we all need food to fuel our bodies before intense physical activities. Did you know that fuelling your body with the right nutrition pre- and post-workout can dramatically improve how your body benefits from your exercise regime? The right pre-workout meal or snack at the right time will fuel you with the energy your body needs to complete the most gruelling workout. Likewise, fuelling your body with a post-workout meal, using the right combination of nutrients, will help you to build and repair your muscles.
Choosing the right pre-workout fuel
The key is to find something to eat before you work out that will immediately be used as fuel. Simple carbohydrates are the preferable choice, so your body doesn’t have to use complex carbs, or convert complex carbs to simple carbs because it runs out of energy.
What does this mean? Simple carbohydrates, also called simple sugars, are those that don’t have to be broken down. They are there to be used for energy – preferably immediately. But remember there’s a difference between table sugar and the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit (which is the type of simple sugar you are aiming for).
Complex carbohydrates, or starches, are made up of three or more sugars and must be broken down before they can be used. Complex carbs are found in foods like pasta, oats, bread, certain vegetables, and legumes. They take the longest to digest. A lot of times, people “gas out” in their workouts before they should because their bodies are using energy to digest food instead of fueling their exercise.
10 VEGAN PRE-WORKOUT MEALS FOR ENERGY
Dates are rich in carbohydrates which is why they supply you with a large amount of energy. Because they contain simple sugars, they are converted in the body into glucose, which the cells use for energy. Related to this, dates have a low glycemic index, which means that they are slowly digested in our body and maintain the same level of energy throughout the day.
2. BANANA AND PEANUT BUTTER
Chop a banana and eat it with a tablespoon of peanut butter to provide your body with enough carbohydrates, fats, fiber and protein. In addition, bananas will supply your body with magnesium and potassium, or electrolytes that affect muscle contractions. Like dates, bananas have a lower glycemic index, making them an ideal pre-workout snack. Bananas are so easy to digest, give you a big burst of energy, and are filled with antioxidants. They also help prevent cramps, something many people suffer from a lot.
The charm of the smoothie is that in a few minutes you can combine any of your favorite foods into one delicious liquid meal. If you are doing a pre-workout smoothie, choose foods that will supply you with enough energy. You can combine for example banana, mango and almond milk. Also, this combination will raise your mood and energy, and thus your motivation for training.
Also, you can make protein based smoothie by using soy, hemp, pea, or rice protein powder. Then add some fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, and pineapples. Add water or non-dairy milk and ice and then blend!
4. OATMEAL WITH FRUITS, NUTS AND CHIA SEEDS
Oatmeal is an excellent pre-workout food because it contains complex carbohydrates that provide you with a long-term energy supply. In addition to oats, chia seeds are also a great source of energy and can help you beat dehydration caused by sweating after a workout. Also, chia seeds help reduce inflammation and joint pain and are a great food if you want to lose weight. Along with chia seeds, nuts will enrich this porridge with protein and healthy fats, and fruit with fiber.
5. POTATOES AND RICE
If these meals did not impress you because you are not a fan of sweets, the combination of rice and potatoes could be preferable. You should eat this meal at least an hour before your workout so that its energy is available to your body after breakdown. Rice contains less protein, but also has a low fat content, which makes it one of the favorite foods for building muscle, while potatoes are rich in carbohydrates that serve as a source of energy for training.
6. BAKED SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes are known as a superfood for people who run, and lately most active exercisers include it in their diet plan as a pre-workout meal. This delicious food is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, but it also contains vitamins and minerals that affect many chemical processes in the body, including the building of muscle and bone tissue.
If you can’t imagine a morning without a cup of coffee, you should also consume it with your pre-workout meal. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, caffeine is suitable for maintaining alertness and focus during training, thus speeding up the reaction time in an exercise and improving performance. We recommend that you drink coffee at least two hours before training because 100 to 400 milligrams of caffeine can speed up metabolism and thus affect better calorie consumption during training.
8. DRIED FRUIT WITH A HANDFUL OF ALMONDS OR WALNUTS
Unsweetened dried fruit (dried figs, plums, grapes, raisins, dates, etc.) can be an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates, and when paired with a handful of nuts, they can be a perfect pre-workout snack for anyone who’s on the go or has limited time.
9. WHOLEGRAIN TOAST
Another good idea is to eat some toast spread with almond butter or avocado for additional nutrients and sustained energy.
10. PRE-WORKOUT VEGAN SUPPLEMENTS
You can easily find a number of vegan pre-workout supplements these days. What a pre-workout supplement does is that improves your performance, focus, and delays fatigue so you can exercise longer and harder.
Closing thoughts: Vegan pre-workout meals
The best pre-workout foods are ones that are easily digestible. Fruit is the optimal choice, with dates being one of the best fruits because they are rich in glucose and they are used for immediate energy. The body (the liver, specifically) doesn’t have to convert them to a different form of fuel to use them. They are there and ready to go.