Preparing your body before a workout can be key to maximising your fitness levels. By providing your body with the correct nutrition you are ensuring that you are fuelling up with the energy needed to get you through a hard workout. Pre-workout supplements and nutrition can seem daunting but our easy guide below should help you make sense of the fuel your body needs in order for you to achieve your best at the gym.
Carbohydrates are the best way to refuel your body pre-workout. Carbohydrates such as whole grains and starchy vegetables like potatoes potatoes are known as complex carbs, and provide your body with sustained energy. Certain carbohydrates also contain protein, which is essential for muscle building and repair. Greek yoghurt, beans and rice are all great examples of this. Greek yoghurt also sits alongside whole grains, oats and brown rice as good sources of long lasting carbohydrates.
Alongside the energy your body requires from carbs, you also need protein to help build muscle. Protein taken before a workout can also help increase the energy you have when resting – this helps to increase metabolism so that you burn calories even when resting.
Protein is also needed for when your store of carbohydrates runs dry. If halfway through a high intensity workout you run out of energy from carbs, your body will switch to using proteins and aminos acids for energy instead. If you don’t consume enough protein in your diet then your body can take the protein it needs from muscle tissue – something that anyone who works out will want to avoid. Eating a mix of both carbs and protein before you workout is a great way to prevent your body from running out of fuel. Having a protein shake pre-workout is a great idea – but you can also find protein in leans meats, eggs and fish.
Timing your pre-workout nutrition is key to ensuring that your energy is delivered precisely when you need it. Eating high carbohydrate meals can leave you feeling full and bloated, so eating too close to working out can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Eat a carb heavy meal before you train – around two hours before you exercise to keep your energy levels high and your blood sugar stable. A small snack thirty minutes before you start will give you an added boost – fruit is perfect for this, and many people choose to snack on a banana before hitting the gym. If you are not keen on fruit then peanut butter or a an energy bar are also great choices.
Overall, keep your body stocked with energy before a workout – stick to meals and snacks that are high carb and have a decent amount of protein. Try to eat two hours before and two hours after your workout to ensure that you are eating to fuel and also to recover. And remember to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water!
Comment on this post with facebook!