Fueling your body with the right nutrients prior to exercise dictates your energy and performance levels. The glycogen stores in your liver and muscles are the primary fuel source. A small amount of fruit, an unprocessed fibrous grain like oats mixed with fat-free Greek yogurt — make for a great vegetarian pre-workout meal.
Fruits metabolize into glucose, fructose, and sucrose, while oats into glucose. They fill your liver and muscle glycogen stores, respectively. Oats are incredibly beneficial for preparing your muscles for working out. They digest slowly, giving a sustained energy release while regulating blood glucose levels. Oats also lock in a significant amount of iron which helps ferry oxygen to the muscles throughout the workout. The inclusion of B vitamins is also testament to its muscle-boosting benefits as it helps convert carbs into energy for the muscles to fully reap the benefits.
Together, they provide a great fuel source for short- and high-intensity exercise.
But for longer exercises, the degree to which carbs are used depends on several factors. These include the intensity, type of training and your overall diet. Your muscles’ glycogen stores are limited. As these stores become depleted, your output and intensity diminish.
Greek yogurt provides the pre-workout protein to further enhance performance. Eating protein (alone or with carbs) prior to exercise has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis (growth) by promoting a better anabolic response, along with improved muscle recovery and increased muscle performance.