The Busy Gal's Guide to Fueling a Workout

  • The PUMA Fitness Team
  • Written on:

It’s 4:55 pm and you just powered through a full day at the office. So how do you make sure you've got energy to burn for a workout?

Your morning started with visions of heading out to the gym at 5. Then you had a draining meeting that almost made you late for your 2 pm conference call, so you rushed through lunch, or worse, didn’t eat it. And now your energy tank is verging on “E.” What you really want to do is go home and fix a nice bowl of pasta. Actually, forget fixing — you want to stop at a fast food drive-thru on the way home.

We hear you! Working out on “Empty” can leave you faint, weak, and unable to concentrate. Your lack of motivation will make each workout minute drag for eons, most likely causing you to throw in the towel, head home, and feel defeated.

So here’s the plan. Drink a glass of water to take the edge off of wanting to gnaw on your desk. Then eat a carb snack — a banana is a great choice, as are a few crackers or a slice of bread. Aim for about 80-120 calories.

If you’re going to begin your workout in less than an hour, avoid fiber-rich foods like apples or veggie sticks, along with high-fat foods like candy bars, cookies or donuts. Fiber and fat take longer to digest than carbs, and will divert blood to the stomach and away from your working muscles, which can cause muscle cramps and discomfort.

Keep healthy “emergency" foods at your desk so you have something to eat when you don’t have much time. Good options include energy bars, fruit and crackers. To keep from reaching for a snack in a non-emergency situation, put them in a container with a special label, and keep it in sight of your coworkers. This will help you reach for the “cookie jar” only when you absolutely need to. Power on!

How do you make sure you've got enough fuel to get you through a post-work workout? Share below, or tell on Facebook or Twitter!