Fitness Articles

What to Eat Before a Workout

What to eat before a workout – People who are working out and exercising regularly, usually develop a special enthusiasm and love for what they do and are constantly looking for ways to improve their ability to perform better when they are in the gym.

One way to improve your performance for your workout is to know what to eat before a workout. Knowing this will not just help you increase your performance but also improve your recovery process, making it faster and better at the same time.

What to Eat Before a Workout


Using the right nutrients to prepare the perfect meal before your workout is crucial to get the energy you are going to need. While all nutrients are important to be consumed the amount of each one would be different once you take the type of exercises and the goal of the individual.




Carbs are important for your body because our muscles use them to fuel themselves and be more effective. In fact they use the glucose from the carbohydrates for energy. By using glycogen our body is able to process the glucose from carbs or store it away in our muscles and liver.

Whenever we are exercising and those exercises involve high-intensity movements that are short, the primary fuel our muscles use is the stored glycogen while when we’re doing longer movements and exercises the fuel used to provide us with energy is different and depends on a few things like our diet, the intensity of the training and the type of training we are performing.

Because our stores of glycogen aren’t unlimited they eventually drain out and we are unable to maintain the intensity of the given exercise. Research shows us that consuming enough carbs is helping us develop higher stores for glycogen and it’s usage but also increase the oxidation of carbohydrates when we workout. There’s a method that’s been around for a long time called carb loading that consists of a diet high in carbs that lasts for about 7 days and it is able to get our glycogen stores to the maximum level.



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What to Eat Before a Workout



What to Eat Before a Workout





Contrasted to carbohydrates and the glycogen which are used in high-intensity movements that are short, the fat in our body is a fuel source when we do low-intensity movements that last longer. There’s some research done on high-fat diets but none of it is about how it would impact your training if you consumer it before a workout.


The research is focused more on long-term and it discovered that by increasing the fat intake by 40% in trainer runners for 4 weeks their running endurance was increased too.



There are a lot of studies that were done on taking protein before a workout and how it can potentially increase the performance of the athlete during his workout and a few others that discovered that protein consumption before a workout is able to help the muscle protein synthesis by increasing it.


The benefits of consuming protein before your workout were also proven in a research where participants were taking 20g protein before their exercise routine and they had a positive anabolic response. The benefits of consuming protein before your workout include a boost of muscle recovery, boost in muscle performance, boost in lean body mass and overall strength and an increased muscle growth.



What To Eat Before A Workout And When To Eat It

What to eat is just as important as when you should eat the meal and for the best results it’s recommended that you finish a full meal at least 2-3 hours before your workout starts. A full meal would consist of all 3 micronutrients, carbs, fat and protein.


We understand that sometimes it’s impossible for us to get a full meal 2-3 hours before and if that’s the case than but the quantity of everything should be much lower. If you were unable to eat anything and you only have about an hour before your workout try to focus on a small meal that would consist mainly of carbs and a little bit of protein because eating a full meal this close to exercise might cause unpleasant feelings in the stomach.




Supplements You Can Use Before a Workout


What to eat before a workout



Pre-workout Supplements

These type of supplements are actually a blend of a few other supplements that are able to increase your performance during your workout by a significant margin. They usually contain creatine, caffeine, BCAA, beta-alanine, arginine and B vitamins and they all contribute to your workout.


People who are using these are able to show improved endurance, reaction time, alertness, focus, strength and work output during their workout routine. It’s best to take this supplement at least 30 minutes before your exercise routine.




The branched-chain amino acids have an important role in our body and some studies that involve them discovered that taking BCAAs before working out is able to reduce the damage done to our muscles while increasing the muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs is recommended to be taken about 30 minutes before starting your workout routine and the dosage should be 5g.





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One of the most used supplements before a workout is definitely creatine. Research discovered that it’s able to increase power, muscle strength, muscle mass and muscle fiber size and on top of that, delay the feeling of fatigue in your muscles.


Creatine is effective both before and after a workout and some people consider it to be more effective after. A dose of maximum 5g and minimum of 2g per day is found to be the most effective.




This compound has a lot of benefits but the one that is important to us in this post is that it is able to increase the power and strength of the athlete while diminishing the fatigue and increase fat burning all at the same time.


Drinking coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks is the best way of getting it although it’s present in many pre-workout supplements. It’s most effective when consumed around 90 minutes before your workout starts but it’s also good if it’s an hour before too.



Staying Hydrated

Eating the right things before starting your exercise routine is important but drinking enough water is paramount for your entire body and keeping yourself hydrated is much more important than anything else. Being well hydrated will allow you to perform at the maximum level while dehydration would lead to dips in your performance.

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