There's nothing wrong with starting your workouts with a little snack, especially when you need a little something for extra boost of energy. But instead of sipping on energy drinks or munching on power bars, here are some other snacks and drinks alternatives:
Rice Cooked rice flavored with a bit of honey makes a good energy-delivering, restorative snack for endurance athletes like cyclists. Bananas Researchers from the Appalachian State University's Human Performance Lab recently found that endurance cyclists performed just as well when they consumed bananas as they did when they drank a sports drink.
Athletes can benefit from the calories and potassium, as well as the antioxidants, fiber and vitamin B. Chocolate Milk Research found that low fat chocolate milk works far better sports drinks. That's because low fat milk has all three components required for proper sports recovery: carbohydrates, in the form of lactose; the electrolytes potassium and sodium; and protein, from casein and whey. Coconut Water This low-cal, all natural beverage is enough to keep you going for moderate activity or gym sessions under an hour. Raisins A study on trained cyclists found that raisins can help athletes sustain their energy and performance when eaten as a pre-training snack. Other kinds of dried fruit like figs and pears are particularly great because of their high carbohydrate content. Caffeine Unlike endurance athletes, regular gym goers don't necessarily need the electrolytes and carbohydrates that come from a sports drink. So any low-calorie drink with 100 milligrams of caffeine (black iced coffee or strong tea) will work just fine.
Did you know that using barbells for lower body exercises lets you lift a substantial amount of weight. "The issue with dumbbells for exercises like squats and lunges is that grip strength is a limiting factor," says Schoenfeld. Because your lower body is generally much stronger than your upper body, your grip strength tends to give way long before your legs do. But using a barbell eliminates that problem. Read more