What to eat before a workout – In order to get a good quality workout, it’s sometimes important to get a decent meal in just before you get to training.
Nutrition provides fuel for the energy you will need for a quality session.
While it is sometimes perfectly healthy to train on an empty stomach, it’s not a sustainable way to train regularly.
Having a good, balanced nutrient intake before training is always the best way to go.
That’s why we’re here to help you decide on the best food sources to chow down on before you hit the gym.
Considerations for Pre Workout Energy Requirements.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to what you should eat before a workout.
You also need to think about how you should eat.
You also need to figure out your unique needs as an individual, what to eat before a workout, which is probably the most important consideration.
Your body type or somatotype will influence pre-workout nutrition requirements.
Somatotypes come in 3 different forms, endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph.
Endomorphs tend to naturally pack on more body fat, so a protein and fat dominant nutrient intake would be best.
The opposite is true for ectomorphs, who tend to sit in a naturally low body fat range with little lean mass on their bones.
Mesomorphs are genetically endowed with an athletic physique and therefore a balanced macronutrient split is ideal.
And while somatotypes are a great way to determine nutrition requirements for exercise, they are just a single tiny factor.
Exercise and body composition goals have to be taken into account too. An ectomorph isn't always trying to gain weight and an endomorph isn’t always trying to lose it.
Lastly, the type of workout also determines the type of nutrition.
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What To Avoid Before A Workout
Throw industrially processed foods out the window.
They far too often contain unhealthy amounts of sugar and sodium.
Excess sodium will kill your fluid balance, which is essential to maintain during workouts.
Excess high GI carbs will bog you down due to the drastic insulin spike, although some slow-release carb intake is useful.
Having said that, don’t get too bent out of shape over the specifics of nutritional science when it comes to your pre-workout meal.
Instead, just follow these quick and simple hacks.
Best Pre-workout Nutrition Tips
This one sounds like a no brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to forego adequate hydration prior to exercise.
Chances are you have probably regularly underutilized the opportunity to hydrate correctly.
Aside from avoiding dehydration, being hydrated optimizes exercise and performance output.
Water is essential to your metabolic functions which produce energy for sustained activity.
Water is also a big component of your blood, the very channel by which energy, oxygen, and nutrients are delivered across to working muscles.
Water is also important for perspiration, or sweat, your body’s inbuilt cooling system, and since you’re working out, you’ll need to keep your cool as much as possible.
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Electrolytes Are Essential
Going somewhat hand in hand with hydration is the need to maintain electrolyte balance.
Electrolytes are mineral salts with and electric charge.
They are essential in that they control the fluid balance in your cells.
Your cellular fluid balance is a delicate state, any major deviations can lead to a system malfunction.
A lack of balanced electrolytes can lead to fatigue and muscle cramps. A well-balanced diet or electrolyte energy drinks are your best options.
Carbs For Creatine
Creatine is probably one of the few truly effective workout supplements.
That’s because it is measurably absorbed and used by the body during high-intensity activity.
Creatine helps increase ATP production, which is the energy molecule your muscles use, and all your cells for that matter.
One interesting thing about creatine is that its absorption is boosted when you take it with a carbohydrate source.
That’s because carbs stimulate the release of insulin and insulin stimulates a more rapid uptake of creatine.
Out The Anabolic Window
Now, this isn’t so much a tip, and it's more to do with nutrition after your workout than before, but more a myth we felt needs to be dispelled.
The myth of the anabolic window.
Many well-meaning gym-goers are sold on the idea that straight after a hard workout, you have a limited-time opportunity to supply your body with a generous amount of protein in order to capitalize on an accelerated anabolic or muscle building state that lasts for a short time after exercise.
This is a false theory, or at the very least, no research has successfully supported this claim.
Your best bet is to eat protein before a workout. This will give you a ready stock of amino acids throughout the recovery process as it slowly sets in and carries over through the next several days.
Protein before working out also has some performance-boosting benefits.
What to eat before a workout is quite a multivariable, multifactorial consideration.
Your exercise goals, type of activity, individual needs as well as current nutritional balance all play a role and have an influence on what you can and should eat before training.
It is perhaps easier to state what you must avoid which would naturally be an excess of sodium and refined sugars. Avoid trans fats and industrially processed foods.
Above all else, stay hydrated!
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