Pre-workout nutrition can be just as important, if not more, than post-workout nutrition. Both can help you get the maximum benefit from your workout session. Fitness enthusiasts and athletes pay special attention to the meals scheduled around workout to improve their performance and efficiency.
Why should you eat better before meal?
According to nutritionists, most people binge on junk food before working out, thinking that they would burn if off in exercise. However, they fail to realize that what they are eating is going to provide fuel during the exercise session. Only with good macronutrients would you be able to get a good workout, otherwise, your body would be exhausted in just finding the energy for the workout session.
What should you eat before workout?
What you should eat mostly depends on the type of workout you are opting for. For high-intensity and short duration workout sessions, the best option is carbs. Carbs are stored in the body as glycogen in the muscles and liver. During workout, it is this glycogen that is used to provide energy to the muscles.
Easily digested carbs ensure that you don’t feel sluggish during exercise. Simple carbs include white bread, while complex carbs can include fiber or starch.
Another great option before exercise is protein. Proteins, alone or in conjunction with carbs can increase muscle protein synthesis. The anabolic response of the body can become more efficient in response to protein consumption.
Moreover, the recovery of the muscles also becomes better if protein is incorporated in the pre-workout meal. Intake of 20 to 30 grams of protein before workout can be beneficial for several hours to come. Additionally, the amount of lean body mass that builds in the body increases with protein in the diet. This lean body mass helps to increase the metabolic rate, and burn calories even at rest. Some examples of protein rich foods are: lentils, eggs, nuts, beans, fish, and soy.
For moderate-to-low intensity workouts that are lengthier, fats are a great option. Fats can improve endurance and running times in trained athletes.
Before sweating out in a high intensity exercise, be sure to hydrate yourself with plenty of water, say two hours before your exercise session. Even during exercise session, you can take small, frequent sips, to keep up with the water loss.
Moreover, hydration is important even after an exercise session. You can even add a source of electrolyte and carbs into the water, like orange juice, to give better fuel to your body.
While there are generic guidelines to tell us what to eat before a workout, you should find what works best for you. If you need more guidance regarding a pre-workout meal plan, then seek help from a professional nutritionist and expert who can guide you better.
Oladoc.com can help you find the right person for your health needs. Book an appointment with top nutritionist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.