Mar 3rd, 2016
Category: Bodybuilding Food
Are you the type of person that never eats before exercise? If so, do you often become tired and irritable half way into your workout? If you answered yes to these questions you should read on. Unfortunately, you are not alone! There are millions of athletes and casual exercisers who mistakenly believe that eating a meal prior to exercise has no benefit and could possibly hurt their performance. They are mistaken! In fact, eating a meal before working out serves three important function: help prevent low blood sugar which leads to symptoms such as light-headedness, fatique, blurred vision, and indecisiveness; helps settle stomach and absord gastric juice; and fuels your muscles with carbohydrates and protein, which is used for energy and muscle building. Know that the only time a pre work out meal can damage performance is when too much food is consumed too fast and/or the wrong types of foods are eaten.
So what exactly are you supposed to eat pre workout? I get asked this all the time!!! Not only am I going to tell you what to eat pre workout to help maximize performance, but also how much to eat in regards to protein, carbohydrates, fat, etc. I'm gearing this article on pre workout nutrtion to the casual exerciser and bodybuilder exercising for 60 minutes or less, not aerobic enduranace athletes. That will be something I cover later in my blog. Aerobic endurance athletes require a difference pre workout nutrition plan due to their high need of constantly supplied carbohydrates.
During high intensity exercise such as weight lifting, HIIT training, or circuit training the body's primary source of energy is carbohydrates. This is its fuel if you will. Think about an automobile, without gasoline the car starts to halt and putter, and it will eventually shut down all together. This is similar to what your body can do when it is in a state of starvation! Without the proper fuel to keep you going during high intensity exercise, your body is unable to process properly and although you may continue to move it is actually shutting down. High intensity exercise requires carbohydrates for energy and conversion purposes, as fat will simply not provide the energy required for maximum performance. On the other end, however, low intensity exercise or physical activity such as every day tasks or walking, fat is a suitable source of energy to provide fuel for the body. Keep this in mind should you switch up routines or if you will experience a long duration between high intensity exercise programs.
In most cases, consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates pre workout is very achievable. For some, however this may be difficult at first, train your stomach to eat pre workout by starting out with very small amounts of food 1 hour pre workout, a few calories from fruit juice is a good start, then gradually increase the amount until you are able to eat the suggested grams of carbohydrates. For a 140 pound female, a yogurt and large banana, 1 cup of almonds and one cup of yogurt, or 1 bagel and 1 large apple would all be excellent choices for a pre workout meal 1 hour prior to strength training or other high intensity exercise last 60 minutes or less.
Protein also known as amino acids, are an extremely important part of the pre workout ritual. Many studies have shown that pre workout protein is beneficial to anyone looking to gain muscle and lose fat because the delivery of amino acids is much greater during a bout of exercise than after exercise. This concept directly opposes the premise protein after a workout is more important for gaining muscle which is mostly what is heard among fitness enthusiasts and professionals. Since these opposing views exist, I and most others prefer consuming protein both before and after working out. Consuming approximately 10 to 20 grams of protein 1 hout prior to training will fuel your body with plenty of amino acids to promote muscle building and the loss of stored fat. Additionally, a slow digesting protein, such as found in the form of casein or meat, is best to consume an hour before training since it is long lasting. If you are limited on time and need to eat closer to training time i suggest you choose whey protein instead as it is fast absorbing.
Examples of protein sources to consume pre workout:
Whey Protein powder
Casein Protein powder
Just peel and eat. Plenty of potassium and no sticky pits! We all know I hate pits
Although highly debated and more of a nutritional supplement, caffeine has been and still is a popular pre exercise supplement, when taken before training and with your meal it will provide an additional benefit. Not only does caffeine provide energy, but it stimulates the brain leader to enhance concentration, which can ultimately benefit your training session. The majority of studies have revealed that caffeine does indeed enhance performance for longer lasting, endurance and short term, high intensity activities. Additionally, according to research caffeine does not lead to dehydration and is perfectly suitable for athletes when taken in moderation. Unfortunately, some people may be negatively affected by caffiene, thereby suffering from nausea or "coffee stomach." It is best to start with a small amount pre workout and testing how your body reacts. For those not sensitive to caffeine I suggest 1.5 milligrams per pound of body weight 45-30 minutes prior to training.
An adequate pre workout meal is extremely beneficial for anyone looking to build muscle and lose fat. Aim for a small or ight meal an hour prior to workout or a larger meal 4 hours before training. In both cases, an adequate amount of carbohydrates and protein should make up the bulk of the meal. This way, you can rest assured that your workout will be sufficiently fueled thereby maximizing performance benefits and post workout benefits. Many studies have proven that a pre workout meal, consisting of protein and carbohydrates, can maximize performance and enhance muscle growth and fat loss. Additionally, if taken in moderation, caffein can significantly enhace energy and concentration when included in the pre workout ritual.