Eating the right foods before hitting the gym can massively impact the results you achieve and aid in an overall better workout. With the necessary fuel and nutrients you will be able to perform at your best throughout the session.
It is crucial that the body is prepared for the workout and there are three factors that you should consider when picking your pre-workout meal:
- How long before you workout will your meal be? – Do you have 1 hour or 3? Will you need to grab a quick snack or do you have the time for a bigger meal? You may want a meal or a larger snack if the time before your workout is more than an hour.
- What is the intensity of the workout and what are you aiming to achieve? Is your workout going to be a weight lifting sessions, if so you will want to look at a protein cantered meal. Or if it is a cardio-based session, you will want to look at something more carbohydrate fuelled so you can keep your body moving.
- How long is the workout going to be? If your workout is going to be between 30-60 minutes then you will not need a large meal, however if you are working out for more than hour, you will want to look at something more filling.
Now when it comes to planning what food you will be having, you will want to look at three main groups, Protein, Carbs & Fats:
- Carbohydrates: Eating carbohydrates before a workout can provide your body with the energy it needs to perform well. Try to eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as they provide sustained energy throughout your workout.
- Protein: Consuming protein before a workout can help to build and repair muscle tissue. Foods high in protein include eggs, chicken, fish.
- Fats: A healthy fat can be used to help satiety you before you train, with this in mind it will take the roll of a slow digesting nutrient.
Now we have the bases for planning, here are some quick and easy ideas for a meals/snack:
- A banana with peanut butter
- Greek yogurt with berries and granola
- A turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Oatmeal with sliced almonds and fruit
- Brown rice with chicken and vegetables
It is important to remember that everyone has different nutritional needs and one meal that will work for someone may not work for you. It is important to trial these meals to see what works out best for yourself.
While we are here... There is one more factor that you should take in mind, that is HYDRATION. Continuing from a previous blog we had put out about how much water to drink, you can view this HERE.
Most of us will know by now that we should be continually hydrating with water throughout our workouts, however the value of drinking water before your workout is very much overlooked! “Pre-hydrating” means taking in fluid a few hours before you workout, this can be done by having half a litre 3 hours before you workout and then another half litre half hour before you train. This will make sure you are adequately hydrated before you train. Here are a few more things to think of when hydrating before a workout:
- Start early: Don't wait until right before your workout to start hydrating. Aim to drink water throughout the day leading up to your workout, especially if you know you'll be doing a particularly intense or long workout.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine: These can both dehydrate you, so it's best to avoid them before a workout.
- Drink electrolyte-rich fluids: Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate fluid balance in the body. Drinking fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks, can help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat during exercise.
- Consider the weather: If you're working out in hot and humid conditions, you'll need to drink more water to stay hydrated. In these conditions, you may also want to consider drinking fluids that contain sodium, which can help you retain water.
There is a lot of information to take in on this blog however we hope that this will help you when deciding what to eat before the gym. We always want the best for you and want you to succeed in every workout! We are a team!
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of feel free to leave a comment on this blog!
Have a great day!