Best Pre-Workout Foods
What you eat before you workout is so important as it gives you the energy to be able to have a good workout. If you don’t eat before exercising it means you will have low blood sugar levels which can make you feel fatigued and light headed. Eating junk food before you workout will have a negative affect on your body during a workout. Making sure you eat the correct food to fuel your workout is vital. But what you eat will vary dependent on your exercise. Different foods will be required if you are doing Cardio than if you are doing muscular exercise. Here are some of the benefits and best foods to eat before a workout.
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Muscle Building – Pre-Workout Meal Benefits –
When you are trying to build muscle in the gym a very important part of the process is to eat well outside of the gym. Gaining muscle mass requires lots and lots of protein. Protein is what our muscle are made from. After working out our muscles breakdown and use our natural protein as well as protein we have consumed to rebuild. This is how our body grows when we workout. When trying to add muscle mass you need to get more calories into your body. Filling up your glycogen storage will help drastically during a workout. This is because you have higher energy levels allowing your body to do more before fatigue.
It will increase muscle growth if you have a good pre-workout meal. This is because it allows our body to slowly release amino acids which are used to build up muscle. After a workout when our muscles breakdown they require natural protein and protein from the food we eat to be able to build back stronger. Calorie intake is very important because you need to be eating more if you want to build muscle. Spreading meals across the day is the best way to have extra calories. Having 6 small meals each day instead of 3 sounds like a lot but if you have the same amount of calories but just divide them across the 6 meals then it will help when your muscles are recovering and rebuilding.
Weight loss – Pre-Workout Meal Benefits-
A pre workout meal for weight loss is simple but will be very effective. This is because unlike muscle building you do not need a lot of protein as you are trying not to take in too many calories. It consists of more carbohydrates. Carbohydrates fill up the glycogen storage allowing someone to have a lot more energy therefore a better session at the gym. The main way to lose weight is by controlling calories. This means by burning more calories in the gym than you consume during a day this will result in fat burning and weight loss.
Having a good pre-workout meal will help weight loss because at the gym you will be able to burn more calories. Your body will have a consistent flow of energy throughout the whole workout allowing you to last longer before fatigue. This is instantly going to get you better results in the long run.
Also, for both muscle building and weight loss hydration is a huge factor when it comes to having enough energy to workout. Keeping your body hydrated is so vital because it maintains the function of every part of your body from your brain to your muscles. Water is what everyone should drink to keep themselves hydrated as it has the nutrients to keep your brain switched on. Also it makes sure your body is energized so this will also help in the gym. Drinking water during a gym session is vital. If you do not stay hydrated then you may begin the feel lightheaded, dizzy or sick which is something that should be avoided.
When & What to Eat –
You should always have your pre-workout meal 2-3 hours before you exercise. But some people will have to wait longer if they have a weak stomach. This is because it allows our body time to breakdown the food and turn them into energy. You will be able to have a better gym session if you have the correct carbs in your meal. In a pre-workout meal for somebody who is looking to gain muscle mass it is all about carbs and protein. Fats take too long to digest so avoiding them would be best for your workout. For building muscle a protein shake would be perfect. Whereas for somebody trying to lose weight it would consist of more carbohydrates and less protein as you want to have less calories overall. When losing weight you need to burn off more calories in the gym than you consume when you are eating every day.
Protein – If you eat protein before a workout it will begin protein synthesis during a workout instead of after. This allows your body to be fueled for a better workout and your will feel better result from the workout. A normal amount of meat is 4-8 ounces per day. Protein is vital as it is what our muscles are built up of and when they breakdown they use protein to rebuild stronger. Protein is vital for muscle building as it is what your muscles are made of so eating them before a workout allows your muscles to rebuild during a workout and after.
Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates help fill up glycogen storage which allows you to handle a heavy workout in the gym. Glycogen is energy and is slowly released into your blood stream as you use energy up. Without carbohydrates you will have no energy and have a rubbish session. This means that your gym session would be poor and get no results from it. Carbs are vital for losing weight as you want to eat as few calories as possible.
Protein Shakes- If you are in a rush or just want something simple before a workout, then a protein shake is perfect. Pre Workout Shakes for building muscle are great as long as they have fast burning proteins in them and a small amount of carbohydrates. This will allow for a great workout because you will be full of energy and can get better results.
Bananas- Bananas are a great source natural sugar and carbohydrates. Eating a banana around 30 minutes before a workout with help fill up your glycogen storage and will boost blood sugar levels which will give you a big boost of energy. Making you have a great gym session.
Chicken, Rice and vegetables- This is the stereotypical meal that people eat before a gym session. It has a great combination of good lean protein and some great carbohydrates. This meal is great for muscle building as the protein provides amino acids to promote muscle anabolism. Also this meal releases energy slowly which allows your body to be able to last longer in the gym before fatigue. A meal of this proportion needs to be consumed 2-3 hours before the gym.
Smoothies- The main aim of a smoothie is to give you energy for a workout and it can be the perfect way to do so. Fruit smoothies are the most common type of smoothies this is because they are fast acting sugars that will give you lots of energy if you consume it not long before a gym session. The only problem with smoothies is that they often have a lot of calories in them so if you are trying to lose weight it will be a replacement to a meal.
Oats- Oats are full of fiber, this means that they release carbohydrates slowly into your bloodstream. This makes sure you energy levels stay consistent throughout the whole workout. Eating these around 30 minutes to an hour before a workout is perfect.