Good nutrition can help our body to perform better and to recover faster. This will happen after each fitness workout. Sometimes we wondered? Why we can easily crush our workout some days, but on other days we don’t have any more energy to spare? It will be related to what and when we’re eating before we hit the gym or begin a fitness workout.
Optimal nutrient intake prior to exercise will not only help us to maximize our performance but also to minimize our muscle damage. So, fitness enthusiasts are always looking for ways: How to improve their performance and achieve their goals.
Below is everything we need to know about our pre-workout nutrition.
Knowing what to eat is very important for us before a fitness workout. To get the most of our workout, we will try to eat a meal with all macros like (carbs, protein and fat). This will do 2 to 4 hours before we exercise.
Fueling our body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will give us the energy and strength that we need. This is to perform better our fitness workout. We should be fueling our workouts accordingly with the right balance of carbs, proteins and fats, before and after training.
Below is a brief look at the role of each macronutrient for our fitness workout
Our muscles use the glucose from carbs for fuel. Carbs provide the quickest energy. Glycogen is the way the body processes and stores glucose, mainly in the liver and muscles. For short and high intensity exercise, our glycogen stores are our muscles that are main source of energy.
But for longer exercises, the degree to which carbs are using depends on several factors. These include the intensity, type of training and our overall diet. Carbs can increase glycogen stores and utilization while boosting carb oxidation during exercise. Carb loading, involves consuming a high-carb diet for 1–7 days, is a well-known method to maximize glycogen stores.
Many studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance.
Eating protein, alone or with carbs prior to exercises have shown to increase muscle protein synthesis. Benefits of eating protein before exercise include to have a better anabolic response, or muscling growth. As a result, improve muscle recovery, increase strength and lean body mass also increase muscle performance.
Fat, is the source of fuel for longer and moderate to low intensity exercise. The effects of fat intake on athletic performance. However, these studies looked at high-fat diets over a long period, rather than prior to fitness workout exercise.
So in other words: Carbs help maximize glycogen stores for high-intensity exercise. Protein improves muscle protein synthesis and aids recovery.
Fat helps fuel our body for longer, less intense workouts.
The time of our pre-workout meal
The time of our pre-workout meal, is also an important aspect of our pre-exercise nutrition.
To maximize the results of our training, we will try to eat a complete meal which contains carbs, protein and fat. This will be 2–3 hours before our exercise.
For example we will eat: Egg omelet and whole-grain toast topped with avocado spread and a cup of fruit. Whole-grain cereal and milk. Sandwich on whole-grain bread, lean protein and a side salad. Lean protein, brown rice and roasted vegetables. Protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana and mixed berries
If we eat 45–60 minutes prior to our workout, we will choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some proteins.
For example we will eat: A piece of fruit, such as a banana, orange or apple. Greek yogurt and fruit. Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients.
Keep in mind!!! That we don’t need to eat many pre-workout meals at different times. Just we will choose one of these. This will help us to prevent any stomach discomfort during exercises.
Also supplements can be useful before every exercise
Below are some of the best pre-workout supplements. Supplement use is common in sports. These products may enhance performance, improve strength, increase our lean body mass and reduce fatigue.
Creatine is probably the most common use sports supplement. Taking 2–5 grams of Creatine monohydrate per day is effective.
Among many other benefits, caffeine have shown to improve performance, increase strength and power. Caffeine can consume in coffee, tea and energy drinks, and pills. However, it have to be effective even when ingested 15–60 minutes prior to exercise.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs refer to the essential amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine. BCAAs before workouts helps decrease muscle damage and increase muscle protein synthesis. A dose of 5 grams or more, at least an hour prior to exercise, is effective.
Beta-alanine is an amino-acid that increase our muscle stores of carnosine. It has been shown to be most effective for short and high intensity exercises. It’s recommended for a daily dose is 2–5 grams, of which at least 0.5 grams should be consumed prior to our workout.
Hydration is more important
Water is more important for performance our body. Our body needs water to function. It’s recommended to drink water and sodium that contain beverages before exercise to promote fluid balance and prevent excessive fluid loss. Good hydration has been shown to sustain and even enhance performance, while dehydration has been linked to significant decreases in performance.
To maximize our performance and recovery, it’s important to fuel our body with the right nutrients and hydration before a fitness workout. At the end of the day, simple pre-workout nutrition practices can go a long way in helping us perform better and recover faster.
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