Proper nutrition is important while dieting, however, many people who exercise can forget the importance of pre-workout meals and nutrition. Eating the right meal or snack before working out can help your body perform better and recover faster. Proper pre-workout meals can help push yourself to max potential while limiting muscle damage and strain. Learn what meals and snacks to eat before you exercise to fuel your fitness goals to the next level.
Carbs Can Be Good
While many dieters steer clear of carbs when trying to lose weight, they can actually be beneficial before a workout. This is because your muscles use the glucose found in carbs and stores it in the form of glycogen for fuel and energy. Eating carbs before a workout ensures that you have extra glucose to replenish your glycogen stores during intense activities. For short and high-intensity workouts, your glycogen stores are your muscles’ main source of energy. Without enough glucose, you are likely to feel weak, tired, and tempted to end your workout early. Before a workout, eat simple carbohydrates that digest fast and give you the quick energy you need. We recommend grabbing a granola bar, a piece of fruit, yogurt, or crackers to give you the fuel you need to meet your fitness goals at the gym.
Protein to Improve Performance
Protein is your friend when on a rigorous workout regime as many studies have shown pre-work protein to improve performance. Eating protein prior to working out has shown to increase muscle protein synthesis or the rebuilding of muscle tissues. This is important because when you do strength training exercises, such a weight lifting, you can create small tears in your muscle fibers. When you rest, your body naturally repairs these microtears, but it needs protein to do it. Eat extra protein before working out to ensure your body recovers to maximum strength. We suggest eating pre-workout protein that is easily digestible such as nuts, eggs, or a slice of turkey.
Hydrate to Stay Healthy
Being dehydrated during a workout can lead to having less energy or muscle cramping and spasms. The goal is to be properly hydrated without drinking too much water. While there is no exact method to determine how much water your body needs during a workout, a good place to start is drinking 2 cups of water at least 2 to 3 hours beforehand and 1 cup of water 10 to 20 minutes before you hit the gym. Water is imperative for a productive and healthy workout as it regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. Helping your body transport nutrients to give you energy, it’s also essential to stay hydrated throughout your workout. We recommend drinking 1 cup of water for every 15-30 minutes of high-intensity activities.
It’s also important to remember that timing is everything, especially when talking about eating before workouts. The best time to eat is between 30 minutes and three hours before your workout. It’s important that you give your body time to digest before beginning a strenuous workout. Remember that the sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal or snack should be. The best way to tell is to listen to your body and experiment with the timeframe that works for you. Plan your pre-workout meals properly to ensure your body has the energy and nutrition to support a killer workout.