What should you eat before workout in the morning
How long should you eat before workout
What should you eat before workout? A common topic for all athletes and all of us fitness lovers because we are always looking for more ways of improving our performance and for achieving our goals.
Good nutrition helps our body to perform better and also to recover faster after each workout.
If you have an optimal nutrient intake before your exercise time, this will not only help you maximize your performance but it will also minimize muscle damage.
Now, I give you some tips about pre-workout nutrition.
It is very important to know what to eat
If you give some good fuel to your body with the right nutrients before your exercise, you will have the energy and strength you need to perform better.
It is very important to know that each macronutrient has a specific role before your workout.
However, the ratio in which we need to consume them varies by the individual and type of exercise that every one of us is having.
Below you have some information about the role of each macronutrient.
Carbs have glucose that is used by the muscles of your body for fuel.
The main way that the body processes and stores glucose is glycogen, and that happens mainly in the liver and muscles.
In the case of a short- and high-intensity exercise, your glycogen stores are your muscles’ main source of energy.
When we speak about longer exercises, the degree to which carbs are used depends on several factors, like the intensity, type of training and your overall diet.
Because our muscle’s glycogen stores are limited when these stores become depleted, our output and intensity diminish.
Research have shown that carbs can increase glycogen stores and utilization while boosting carb oxidation during workout session.
Carb loading, means that you have to consume a high-carb diet for 1–7 days, and it is a well-known method to maximize glycogen stores .
A lot of studies have shown the potential of preworkout protein consumption in improving athletic performance.
Eating protein (alone or with carbs) before you exercise has been shown an increase of muscle protein synthesis.
A study showed a positive anabolic response after the participants consumed 20 grams of whey protein before they exercise.
Here are some other benefits of eating protein before exercise:
- A better anabolic response, or muscle growth
- An improved muscle recovery
- Increased strength and lean body mass
- Increased muscle performance for you and your body
While glycogen is used for short- and high-intensity bouts of exercise, fat is the fuel for a longer and a moderate-to-low-intensity exercise.
Some research have studied the effects of fat intake on the athletic performance. However, these studies looked at high-fat diets over a long period, rather than prior to exercise so you don’t have to eat fat before you exercise.
So, you need carbs for high intensity exercise and fat for longer and less intensive workouts. In the same time, protein improves muscle protein synthesis and aids recovery. All of these are suitable info and recommendations even for normal outdoor activities such as running and jogging.
The timing is the key of your meal before workout
The timing of your meal is also an important aspect of preworkout nutrition.
In order to maximize the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2–3 hours before your workout.
But , if you aren’t able to get in a full meal 2–3 hours before working out, try to have a decent preworkout meal. It’s very important to keep in mind that the sooner you eat before you exercise, the smaller and simpler the meal should be.
If you eat 45–60 minutes before your workout, choose foods that are simple and easy to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein.
This way you will help prevent any stomach discomfort during workout.
So, it’s important to have a full meal 2-3 hours before exercise and for the meals closer to workout time you should choose simpler carbs and protein.
Examples of preworkout meals
Which foods to choose and how much to eat depends on the type, duration and intensity of your workout.
A good rule of thumb is to have a mix of carbs and protein before the exercise.
Here are some examples of preworkout meals:
If you start your workout within 2–3 hours or more
You should have these meals if you start to exercise in 2 or 3 hours:
- Sandwich on whole-grain bread, lean protein and a side salad
- Egg omelet and whole-grain toast topped with avocado spread and a cup of fruit
- Lean protein, brown rice and roasted vegetables
If you start your workout within 2 hours
You should have these meals if you start to exercise in 2 or 3 hours:
- Protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana and mixed berries
- Whole-grain cereal and milk
- A cup of oatmeal topped with banana and sliced almonds
- Natural almond butter and fruit preserve sandwich on whole-grain bread
If you start your workout within an hour or less
- Greek yogurt and fruit
- Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients
- A piece of fruit: banana, orange or apple
You don’t have to eat many preworkout meals at different times, you just have to choose one of these.
Supplements are also useful before exercise
Supplement use is pretty common in sports. These supplements may enhance your performance, improve your strength, increase lean body mass and also they may reduce fatigue.
I give you some examples of the best preworkout supplements.
Creatine is probably the most known and commonly used sports supplement.
It has been shown to increase muscle mass, muscle fiber size and muscle strength and power, all while delaying fatigue and that’s making it very apreciate among the atheletes.
Even though it’s beneficial to take creatine before a workout, it seems to be even more effective when taken after you have workout .
Taking 2–5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day is very effective.
Among many other benefits for you and your body, caffeine has been shown to improve performance, increase strength and power, help reduce feelings of fatigue and stimulate fat burning .
Caffeine can be consumed in coffee, tea and energy drinks, but it can also be found in preworkout supplements and pills, so you decide how you want to get it. Take it with you for fitness and sports activities, check Bazaar Gadgets for some useful gadgets and accessories.
Caffeine’s peak effects are seen 90 minutes after you have it. However, it has been shown to be effective even when ingested 15–60 minutes before exercise.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs refer to the essential amino acids which are : valine, leucine and isoleucine.
A dose of 5 grams or more, at least an hour before exercise, is effective for you.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that increases your body muscle stores of carnosine. It has been shown to be very effective for you if you have short- and high-intensity exercises.
It works by increasing exercise capacity and muscle endurance while reducing fatigue .
The recommended daily dose is 2–5 grams, of which at least 0.5 grams should be consumed prior to your workout time.
Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements
Many people prefer products that contain a mix of the supplements mentioned above.
Caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, branched-chain amino acids, arginine and B vitamins are among the most commonly used ingredients in these products for better results in workouts.
These products have been shown to increase your strength, endurance, anaerobic power, reaction time, focus and alertness during workouts.
Hydration is very, very important
Our body needs water to function well and healthy.
So, good hydration has been shown to sustain and even enhance our body and mind performance, while dehydration has been linked to significant decreases in our performance. Even for some outdoor activities you can take advantage of using some reliable home supplies items.
It’s recommended to consume both water and sodium before you exercise. This will improve fluid balance in your body.
To maximize your body performance and recovery, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients before exercise.
Carbs help you maximize your body’s ability to use glycogen to fuel short- and high-intensity exercises, while fat helps fuel your body for longer exercise sessions which are more relaxing for you and your body on long term.
Eating protein helps improve muscle protein synthesis, prevent muscle damage and promote recovery for you and your body.
Good hydration is also linked to enhanced performance so don’t forget to drink water or energy drinks before workout.
Preworkout meals can be eaten 3 hours to 30 minutes before a workout. However, choose foods that are easy to digest, especially if your workout starts in one hour or less. This will help you avoid stomach discomfort and you will get better results also.
Additionally, you can have different supplements can aid performance and promote recovery, but it is better to ask some doctors if it is ok for you to take some supplements.
At the end of the day, like a short conclusion, related to what should you eat before workout, simple preworkout nutrition practices can go a long way in helping you perform better and recover faster and so you will have better results and you will look great in the same time.