What to Eat Before You Workout
The name of the game is maintaining a reasonable carbohydrate and protein balance for the workout you’re about to undertake. Don’t go into a workout having skipped a meal entirely thinking you’ll burn more fat that way, because you won’t.
The body and its metabolism are like an eight-year-old boy cleaning his room. They need a kick from a pre-workout snack in order to make the work they’re doing more effective, so here are a couple simple tips to keep in mind:
Add More Protein to Your Pre-Workout Meal
• Add more protein in your pre-workout meal if the workout’s focus is on strengthening. Egg whites, chicken, turkey, low fat cheeses, Greek yogurt and protein-rich nuts are simple ingredients to increase the protein proportion in your pre workout snack. This will promote muscle recovery while still providing enough energy to sustain focus and strength during exercise.
• Add reasonable, simple carbohydrates in your pre-workout if the workout is cardio based or fat-burning focused. Low-Glycemic Index carbs like whole wheat bread (one or two slices maximum), oatmeal, grains, walnuts and almonds are great ingredients to balance carbohydrates with fiber and protein. This will provide enough fuel to carry you though the entire workout and spur the body’s consumption of stored energy while maintaining the protein amounts your body needs to repair and build muscles.
Why the Balance of Proteins and Carbs is So important
If pre-workout food has too many carbohydrates and not enough protein, then less fat will be burned and muscles won’t have adequate amino acid supply to repair themselves. And if you have too much protein and not enough carbohydrates then the body’s response to is to burn less fat during the workout, resulting in low energy, a lack of focus and, psychologically, a less effective workout than could be had.
Different foods have different digestion times, and different people have different metabolisms, but generally a pre-workout meal should be consumed at least one hour before exercise. If there isn’t much time available to get in a pre-workout meal, try a pre-workout snack instead. Fruit and toast are easy to put together and highly effective in jumpstarting your body’s digestion. A pre-workout snack is better than nothing.
Try these pre workout meal ideas or tweak them to become your own in order to fuel effective workouts. Don’t get your butt kicked, enjoy!
• Irish oatmeal, cottage cheese and crushed almonds (add in diced blueberries or melon for some sweet flavor instead of using sugar)
• Egg white omelet with soy milk, diced peppers, onions, low fat cheese and grapefruit
• Turkey bacon and steamed veggies with almond buttered whole wheat toast
• Grilled chicken or whitefish fillet with grilled veggies and steamed, chopped sweet potato
• Fennel leaf salad and hardboiled egg with light virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt
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