What Should I Eat Before a Workout?
Strategic exercise and a mindful diet are key to achieving total wellness and health. Especially when you begin to work out more regularly and incorporate new, more challenging activities, it’s important to be cognizant of the nutrients and the supplements your body needs to maximize your efforts.
Pre-workout meals are all about fueling your body to attain the best results. The American College of Sports Medicine states, “Adequate food and fluid should be consumed before, during, and after exercise to help maintain blood glucose concentration during exercise, maximize exercise performance, and improve recovery time.”
Working out without the intake of proper nutrition is similar to driving your car on an empty tank. Although you may get lucky, it’s a decision that might hamper the positive results that you’re working so hard for and, in some cases, do more harm than good. If your body is your vehicle to wellness and health, you must treat it with care and make sure your tank is full before the long drive.
When Should I Eat?
Most professionals agree that in order to realize the gains you’re going for, it is essential to consume enough nutrients within a four-hour timeframe before exercising. Although fueling up within two hours of your workout is ideal, it can be difficult for many people to integrate both a stringent meal regimen and exercise routine within their daily lives.
But there’s good news! Recent studies have shown that the timing of pre-workout meals are not so important if the appropriate nutrients are present in your system by the time you begin breaking a sweat. You can also take advantage of light meal breaks during your workout in order to keep your body’s momentum going for longer sessions.
What Should I Eat?
A nutritious pre-workout menu should include substantial portions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Carbs are arguably the most important element to your pre-workout meal in that they provide the body and brain with the quickest and most accessible source of energy. They are especially important for those who are planning to incorporate any sort of high-endurance training, explosive strength-training, or substantial amounts of cardio in their workout plan—it’s very likely that such activities may feel both strenuous and nauseating to complete if you’re running low on carbs. Bananas, oats, and whole-grain bread are great sources of carbohydrates that can be easily incorporated into your pre-workout menu.
Fats are similar to carbs in that they are also an effective source of energy that can be beneficial during your workout program. In fact, compared to carbs, fats offer almost twice as many calories per gram and, for this reason, can be considered a far more efficient source of reserved energy than carbs. Raw, unsalted nuts contain loads of good fats that also double as a source of proteins and calories.
Finally, proteins are not necessarily a major source of energy like carbs or fats but play an essential role in the construction of just about every cell in your body, including your muscles. Due to their exceptional ability to strengthen and increase muscle cells, proteins are often an omnipresent part of any meaningful pre-workout meal. Hard-boiled eggs, chicken, and turkey are sure sources of lean protein that can be integrated into a pre-workout meal in the form of a simple salad or hearty sandwich.
Eating Towards Greatness
Although we’ve touched on the basics of a nutritious pre-workout menu, many factors go into constructing a robust meal plan that suits your specific needs, lifestyle, and health. The type of workouts you do and results you are after often require a specific balance of the nutrients that have to be tailored to your exact body type—plus, you have to like it enough to actually follow through with it in the long term!
Don’t think you can manage the variety of nutrients that should either be included or excluded in your meal plan? Let Benessair Health take the guesswork out!
Our team of expert trainers and dieticians, not to mention our impressive roster of dedicated physicians, will build you a personalized and manageable workout and meal plan but also instruct, coach, monitor, and motivate you every step of the way as you change your life for the better. Not to mention, we boast a state-of-the-art facility with the newest, most innovative health and wellness technologies to give you every tool you need to take a holistic approach towards your fitness as well as your relaxation and mental wellbeing.
Start your wellness journey by contacting Benessair Health today!