I currently work a 9-5 day and attempt to fit in 3 workouts a week. This leaves me with two options. The first is to exercise before I head to work, the second is to wait until after. The first option suited just fine during the summer months. However, getting up at 6am in the cold, dark winter mornings is a whole other kettle of fish and quite frankly, isn't happening.
So, that leaves me with the second option- dragging my hungry, exhausted and reluctant self to the gym after work. Energising, pre-workout snacks are the solution to this after-work slump. However, these pre-workout snacks normally require insulin. In a previous post about exercising with diabetes, I mentioned a 3 hour rule regarding insulin and exercise. I find it best to leave workouts until 2-3 hours after insulin has been taken to prevent a hypo. However, sometimes you just need that pre-workout snack to get you up and going. In those cases, these are my go-to, energy fuelling snacks that I have before the gym. They are protein based, low-carb and don't require any insulin!
This is the easiest option and the one I usually opt for. While I'm making my breakfast in the morning I microwave a bowl of two whisked, large eggs for two minutes. I usually throw in a dash of tumeric and a squeeze of lemon to add to the taste. Not to mention, tumeric is a miracle spice. Not only is it an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, it's also associated with improving insulin sensitivity and controlling blood sugar! So I always like to add it into my dishes whenever possible. This is a handy option because it doesn't add any time onto morning routines- just pop it in a lunchbox and it's ready to go!
Egg whites & avocado
Half an avocado and egg whites is another staple pre-workout snack I rely on. Rather than waste the yolk, I've started to buy bottles of egg whites. I use the Margaret's brand which can be found in Tesco. Again, the egg whites go in the microwave to scramble them, then I simply bring them and the avocado along in some Tupperware to work with me. Avocados are full of fibre so they're great for keeping those hunger pangs at bay during a gym session.
Chicken, feta cheese & leafy greens
According to a study carried out by the University of Leuven in Belgium, leafy greens like spinach directly boost athletic performance. These along with some protein (I go for ¾ of a chicken breast) and a tasty, healthy fat source (I LOVE feta), makes for a really filling, energising pre-workout fuel that I would definitely recommend.
Tuna & beetroot
You may stink out the office with this one, but the tumeric eggs aren't going to smell like roses either. Ignore those wrinkling noses and whip out that tuna (or do it subtly and pretend you don't know where that stench is coming from either.) A can of tuna is such a quick and easy protein source with multiple health benefits so in my opinion, it's worth it. Also, beetroot has been named the 'new pre-workout supplement.’ Like leafy greens, beetroot improves exercise stamina. So, accompanied with tuna and spinach leaves makes for a little lunchbox of workout energy!
Another great option of a pre-workout snack is the protein-rich FAGE yoghurt. If you're trying to cut down on calories you can get a 0% fat one. One 170g pot only has 5g of carbs and is surprisingly filling because of the high protein content! If my sugars are a little on the low side (6.0 or lower) I'll add in a few berries which are great for adding to the taste too. Another option is the Liberte brand. However, unlike FAGE their on-the-go pots are pre-mixed with fruits such as blueberries and mango, bringing them up to 11-14g of carbs.
So if you're a bit weary about taking insulin before going to the gym, I would recommend trying some of these snacks to give you that kick of energy before your workout. The fact that they are all low carb, with most being completely carb-free, means you don't have to worry about them causing any nasty spikes in blood sugar. Hope this post has helped!