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Pre-Workout Nutrition: What Should I Consume?

Many people still need clarification about what to eat before training. Physical activities demand a lot of energy from the body; therefore, it is essential to be well-fed so your performance is not affected. Still, you need to know how to choose your pre-workout nutrition.

While exercising while fasting is a considerable risk, overeating before a workout can be just as harmful, so stay with us and find out how, after all, pre-workout nutrition can contribute to good performance.

Why Eat The Right Foods Before Training?

When we talk about pre-workout nutrition, we are not saying that you should eat the first thing you see. Your meal choice can improve or worsen your performance during training; you need to be aware of the option.

In general, people think that if they eat something before training, they can end up feeling sick due to excessive effort. Well, it can happen if you overeat. But if you choose your meal items carefully, it isn’t very sure to happen.

The foods you eat directly affect your well-being and mood during exercise. They provide your body with a source of calories to use as energy. Generally speaking, if you don’t eat, your body doesn’t have the power to recruit, and you may feel inadequate.

Calories are a necessary fuel for your body to perform the exercises. If you consume in excess, your body begins to accumulate fat. But if you don’t eat, you end up experiencing a feeling of weakness, indisposition, and lethargy.

Therefore, it is essential to understand your body’s functioning, its demand, the type and intensity of exercise that will be performed, and so on.

What Are The 3 Macronutrients?

An excellent pre-workout diet includes three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Our body transforms them into a powerful source of energy. However, their metabolism occurs in different ways from each other:

carbohydrates turn into glucose;

proteins become amino acids;

fats become fatty acids.

Likewise, your metabolism recruits these different energy sources differently, depending on the type of physical activity you are subjecting your body to (light, moderate or intense). Thus, it is necessary to adapt the balance of these macronutrients according to the needs of each one.

An excellent pre-workout diet will collaborate after training in muscle recovery, strengthening the immune system, increasing power and muscle strength, the quality of sleep, and so on. It is a care taken throughout the day.

Therefore, always prioritize those nutrients that will strengthen your body and not the other way around. A good combination to do before training is the combination of good sources of carbohydrates and proteins. The former will supply glucose, which is the first source of energy consumed by the muscle. The latter will provide amino acids essential to prevent muscle catabolism.

What To Consume Before Training?

It’s practically only possible to indicate the ideal meal for pre-workout nutrition by knowing the details of your metabolism or training plan. This construction should be done with your physical trainer and nutrition professional.

In addition, you need to know your body well to understand which foods are easy or difficult to digest. Some people may feel energized and light when eating a pre-workout banana, while others may be uncomfortable with this choice.

Therefore, look for a combination of what seems lighter on what you already know about your digestive process. Here are some suggestions:

carbohydrates — rice, bread, banana, mango, cassava, sweet potato, maltodextrin, waxy maize;

proteins — egg whites, chicken breast, skimmed milk and derivatives, whey protein, rice, meat protein.

According to a study published by the Society of Exercise and Sports Medicine, it is not recommended to have a meal between 15 and 45 minutes before exercise. This would generate an insulin spike which, combined with the action of muscle contraction, could lead to hypoglycemia.

Another study released by the Institute of Research and Teaching in Exercise Physiology indicates that the ideal combination for pre-workout nutrition should consider the following:

food-related factors: macronutrient composition of the dish, the volume of food, glycemic index, physical state;

exercise-related factors: the time between breakfast and training, duration, type, and intensity of exercise;

individual factors: food preferences, gastric intolerances, availability of time for the meal.

Once again, it is essential to emphasize that it is recommended to create a specific eating plan for each person, taking into account all the aspects mentioned above. Those who can help with this are physical education and nutrition professionals.

Although some athletes and practitioners adopt it, fasting exercise should not be adopted freely, especially for those without professional follow-up. This habit can generally reduce an individual’s ability to produce strength and athletic performance during exercise.

Some people may end up taking advantage of fat burning by exercising in a fasted state. However, this is only valid for some. Therefore, it is best to opt for a functional, nutritious diet that combines carbohydrates and proteins in the pre-workout.


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