Many of us who begin our fitness journey eventually end up asking questions how to enhance further fat loss. Knowing what to eat before a workout is an essential key to great workouts which then will lead to optimal and sustainable fat loss.
The main nutritional goal pre-workout is to supply enough energy to your muscles and brain during training. This goal makes carbohydrate consumption crucial. Carbs are stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles. Since high-intensity exercise like strength training or conditioning utilizes energy at a fast rate, the body can’t supply enough oxygen to harness fat as a fuel source. Thus, it relies on its glycogen stores, which don’t require oxygen to be broken down for energy.
By taking in carbs before a workout, you guarantee that you’re body’s glycogen stores are fully stocked. With a ready supply of glycogen, your muscles can access energy in an instant. In this way, you’re able to go 100% in your workout, extending performance without hitting the wall or feeling like you might faint and fall.
Protein should also be a part of your pre-workout meal. But protein doesn’t contribute much in the way of energy, consuming protein before exercise has both anabolic and anti-catabolic effects. Thus, you significantly increase muscle protein synthesis in the first hour after exercise, priming the body for anabolism. In other words, you maintain your hard earned muscle while training and not risk it being used up as energy.
While the consumption, of fat, should be kept to a minimum in the pre-exercise period. Fat delays gastric emptying, which will prolong the time it takes foods to digest. If food sits in your stomach during a workout, there is an increased likelihood of gastric problems like cramping.
For best results, try to consume your pre-workout meal approximately two to three hours before a workout. Allowing a couple of hours between the end of your meal and your workout will ensure that the majority of your meal is digested and help to prevent an upset stomach that will cause problems. Stick with slow burning carbs and lean sources of protein. Oatmeal and egg whites, tuna on multi-grain bread, lean steak and yams, chicken breast and brown rice, are all great options.
If you aren’t able to consume a full meal before your workout as you train early in the morning. Try having a protein shake with some fruit within a half-hour of your workout. Due to a high concentration of fructose, fruits are low on the glycemic index. This combination is significant because it keeps insulin levels stable, which will prevent the feeling of lightheadedness while exercising.
But, keep in mind everyone is an individual and having a shake before a workout could lead to gastric problems and make the workout intolerable. Sometimes early morning workouts some of us can’t have anything in the morning without feeling sick. In this case, merely having a cup of black coffee could do the trick.
Remember you’re an individual and there will be some time to figure out what works best for your body. Your body is a giant puzzle, and it’s trial and error before you figure out what is optimal for pre-workout nutrition.