by Brianna Quaglia, blogger and Social Media Chair
With the What the Health staff event coming up at 3:00 this Friday, you may be wondering what you should eat for energy before Zumba-ing it up. Some of us can’t function in class without eating, let alone burning calories like crazy in a high-energy Zumba session. Eating a before-workout snack is a good idea, but only if done right.
For a 3 o’clock workout, like our staff event will be this Friday, it is important to eat your breakfast and lunch meals as per normal. Instead of beefing up your regular meals, add a mid-day snack to your meal routine. It is probably a bad idea to eat right before working out, as it may upset your stomach, but eating at least an hour before works according to a Q & A article for msn.com.
For a healthy, energy-boosting pre-work out snack, try eating a combination of complex carbs and a little protein. For instance, eat a couple apple slices dipped in peanut butter and oatmeal. The apple contains simple sugars that will give you an energy boost fast. The peanut butter contains protein that your body will need once muscle protein is broken down during exercise, and the oatmeal serves as a complex carb that contributes long-lasting energy. Other good snacks include pita chips, hummus, and grapes, or a whole wheat pita with avocado spread.
Many people think that working out to lose weight is about eating the least amount of calories and working off the most. However, calories are needed to maximize the effectiveness of any workout. According to the Q & A article for msn.com, “Don’t enter a workout hungry. If you start exercising in an energy deficit, your body is likely to preserve fat and perform poorly.” Athletes, especially, require more calories than the average person.
It is important to stay hydrated before and after exercise. The best pre- and post-workout drink? Water, according to one Mayo Clinic article, “Before and during exercise, plain water is usually best.” Being dehydrated during exercise can seriously hinder what you get out of your workout. The Mayo Clinic says, “Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.”
So if you’re thinking of coming to the WTH staff event starving or thirsty: don’t! Great pre-work out snacks including some of the ones mentioned here are available at campus cafes, and will easily help you make the most out of your Zumba experience.