Most people who do sport regularly have often wondered whether or not they should eat before going to the gym. The answer is a resounding yes. We’re not suggesting you wolf down a three-course lunch before your spinning class, but nutritional experts recommend eating a snack beforehand to ensure you have enough energy to power your way through your physical exertion.
This is particularly important if you do exercise at midday, during your lunch break, for example, before you have lunch. Or if you go to the gym first thing in the morning before you have breakfast. Whatever the case, you should eat something beforehand containing protein, fat and some carbohydrates. And for that you really can’t beat nuts.
Many sportspeople avoid nuts, fearing they’re full of calories, when in fact they can fill you up and provide you with the energy you need so you don’t get worn out. Nuts, especially walnuts, are rich in healthy fats like omega-3, which boosts your strength and performance during aerobic exercise. This kind of fat also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help prevent problems with your joints.
Nuts also contain proteins, which help your muscles recover after physical exercise, and carbohydrates, which provide your muscular system with glycogen = energy. In this way you can delay the onset of fatigue and improve your sporting performance. Hazelnuts are great for this.
Hazelnuts, in common with other nuts such as walnuts and almonds, as well as seeds, yogurt and banana, are also rich in electrolytes (calcium, potassium and magnesium), which help prevent muscle cramp. As well as minerals, nuts also contain a wide range of vitamins, especially vitamin E and those in group B (found, above all, in peanuts), which help fight the fatigue and stress produced by physical exercise and also aid digestion.
So, nuts boost your physical performance and are good for your health. You can eat them in several different ways, including on their own, with yogurt or with fruit. You shouldn’t be eating any snacks as you walk through the door to the gym, as your body will divert energy to digest this food. Between half an hour and an hour beforehand is about right. And don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercise.