Just under two hours until the sports training and the hunger announces itself. It’s not a cheese sandwich, it’s heavy on the stomach. But there are alternatives.
What and when to eat before exercising depends entirely on how long or how intensively you want to exercise. “Only those who want to exercise intensely for 30 minutes or more have to think about it,” says sports nutritionist Claudia Osterkamp-Barrens.
For all those who want to perform because they want to keep up with their buddies or hate poor exercise, a high-carbohydrate, easily digestible meal about two hours before exercise makes sense, according to the expert. So that there is no bloating or heartburn, the meal should be as low in fat as possible, not contain too much fibre and fibre and rather little protein.
So not necessarily the cheese roll. The sports nutritionist recommends muesli or porridge if you want to do sports immediately after eating. “If the food is still in the stomach during training, it feels uncomfortable, it leads to stomach pressure because the stomach becomes too tight,” explains Claudia Osterkamp-Barrens, who is also responsible for nutritional advice at the Bavarian Olympic Training Center.
Before exercise: oatmeal and baby fruit jars
“With fine oatmeal that is soaked in warm water, the stomach has a lot less work to do.” This way, the carbohydrates get into the blood faster. The closer it is to training, the finer the consistency should be. Your tip for a super-quick lunch in the office when a sports session is waiting afterwards: Mix five to ten tablespoons of tender oat flakes with warm water and milk and add a baby fruit jar. Then you can get started half an hour after eating.
If that’s too boring for you, you can pimp the dish with a handful of blueberries, morello cherries and chocolate shavings – an idea from the book “Hans Sarpeis Fußballküche”, on which Claudia Osterkamp-Baerens also worked. The guide is aimed primarily at young people who regularly attend soccer training.
One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese or Pizza Toast
For example, the one-pot spaghetti Bolognese, in which the spaghetti is cooked in a saucepan with tomatoes, peppers, beef tartare, canned tomatoes and broth. The pizza toast is also quick to prepare: spread a wholemeal toast with tomato paste and grainy cream cheese, sprinkle with a little pizza seasoning, top with tomatoes, corn and peppers and baked with grated Gouda cheese.
Sports enthusiasts will also find alternatives to cheese rolls in the book “Eat Like an Athlete”. If a workout is due, a high-carbohydrate lunch recipe makes sense: Bulgur salad with chicken, for example, a soba noodle salad in a glass or wraps with salmon. The need for quick carbohydrates before or during exercise can be met with homemade snacks such as granola muffins, banana bread or coconut rice slices.
Eating shouldn’t become a stress factor, says Hans Braun from the German Sport University in Cologne. Which diet makes sense before training depends on the type of sport, the goals, the intensity and the duration of the training. Just try out what works for you, advises the nutrition expert who trains football teachers at the Hennes-Weisweiler Academy of the German Football Association.
Fatty food stays in the stomach longer
As with a wholesome and healthy diet, there are also some rules of thumb in sports nutrition: We suspect that a portion of French fries currywurst is not a good idea before a training session. “Fat ensures that food stays in the stomach longer and digestion is more complex,” says Hans Braun. This in turn means that the energy is not available as quickly.
For Hans Braun, foods rich in carbohydrates but rather low in fibre, low in protein and low in fat make sense. And: “The less time there is between a meal and intensive training, the smaller the amount we eat should be.”