You should eat before training to make sure your muscles are fully working. In this regard, it is important to choose the right carbohydrates and proteins.
It is very important to monitor what you eat before, during and after your workout to improve the quality of your workout and your body composition. If you are exercising, this article about what you should eat before your workout will definitely interest you.
Remember that along with rest, food is necessary to promote recovery. It also allows you to maximize performance and reduce the risk of muscle injury. If you are thinking about exercising, you should not neglect this important aspect.
What to eat before training
Whether or not you eat before a workout depends on your goals, the time since your last meal, and exactly what you ate. For example, if your main goal is to burn fat and you do moderate-intensity activities, in most cases the ideal pre-workout meal is not to eat. On the other hand, if your goal is to build muscle, exercising on an empty stomach probably won’t help you at all.
To avoid possible stomach and intestinal problems that can affect your performance and compromise your sports practice, experts generally recommend not to eat high-fat foods before exercising.
Pre-workout meals do:
Increases hepatic and muscle glycogen and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Glycogen is the main energy source in bodybuilding workouts.
They release amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, into the bloodstream so they can be used during training and reduce muscle catabolism.
It prevents insulin resistance and inflammation during the recovery phase after exercise.
Optimizes post-exercise recovery. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, consuming protein is essential to repair damaged tissues after exercise.
Before exercising, you should prioritize carbohydrate consumption. Glycogen stores are so important during physical activity that low levels below 1g/100g of muscle significantly reduce sports performance.
However, you should be mindful of the types of carbohydrates you eat. In fact, some carbohydrate sources require long digestive processes due to:
- Low glycemic indexes
- Lipid content
- Contains resistant starch
- High amount of fiber
- Consume immediately after training
When you eat before training, it can negatively affect your performance as you will start exercising while digesting the food you eat. This means that what you eat will not be a usable source of energy while exercising.
Therefore, the most recommended carbohydrate sources are pre-digested hydrolyzed disaccharides or polysaccharides. For example, you can meet these needs by consuming 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates from sources such as bananas, flour from hydrolyzed grain, maltodextrin from rice, corn or potatoes.
However, if you eat a lot of carbohydrates during the day, your needs will decrease. On the other hand, this intake is more important if there is an energy restriction.
According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, you can consume carbohydrates through drinks while exercising. This facilitates the replenishment of lost glycogen and reduces the need to load up heavily on carbohydrates beforehand.
Consume protein before training
Consuming protein before a workout is a way to release amino acids into the bloodstream to increase muscle protein synthesis and prevent breakdown.
If your pre-workout meal is the main meal, namely breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner, you can get protein in proportion to the total amount of protein you should consume daily. For example, 100 grams of protein spread over four meals a day, or 25 grams of protein per meal.
If you want to make a special pre-workout meal, you can eat 30 grams of protein. You can resort to whey protein or just eat high protein foods.
Keep in mind that experts have shown that ensuring an appropriate protein intake significantly affects muscle recovery and hypertrophy.
It is important to reduce your fat intake before training, as fat delays gastric emptying. In other words, they slow down digestion. Therefore, you should avoid fatty foods or greasy sauces. If you’re going to eat 30 minutes before a workout, make sure you’re not consuming more than three to four grams of fat.
You can take many supplements before training, but the most beneficial supplement that can improve your performance is caffeine. To see the benefit, experts recommend consuming three to nine mg/kg 60 minutes before training. Among the best options are also capsules or powders. Since each person has a unique sensitivity to caffeine, you need to adjust the dose.
Eating before a workout can be very important
You can eat before training. It is not prohibited or contraindicated. What experts recommend is to design your meal wisely to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect your workout.
You should pay attention to the carbohydrates you choose and consume proteins that help your muscles work. It is best to avoid oils if possible. Caffeine is a great option if you want to choose a pre-workout supplement.