Pre-workout food is part of what is known as peri-workout nutrition, the sports nutrition that takes place around the training: before, during, and after. We must take the utmost care with pre workout meals.
The right foods are full of complex carbohydrates, protein, essential amino acids, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats that can give us enough fuel one or two hours before a challenging workout routine. If you are not into the fasted cardio trend, keep reading. Here you will find some healthy options that are among the best pre-workout meals for muscle growth and energy levels.
How To Prepare A Good Pre Workout Meal
Preparing pre workout meals will depend on your goals. For a casual gym-goer, having a protein bar or a protein shake might be enough. But for those who are focused on gaining muscle mass and losing fat, pre-workout foods really matter. Skipping on meal prepping will lead to lesser muscle tissue development and even muscle catabolism, longer recovery periods, and poor training performance.
Meal Preparation Starts In The Kitchen
The first thing you should take into account is including all macronutrients in your pre workout meals. Some types of food like lean protein, simple carbs such as natural sugars of fruits, complex carbs like sweet potato and brown rice, healthy fats found in egg yolks, nut butter and omega-rich sources like salmon, and last but not least fiber, which you can get from whole grains, are the recommended nutrient package for training: this combination has been proved to be beneficial.
What To Eat Before A Workout
Recommended Pre Workout Meals
- Oats with protein powder and peanut butter.
Oats provide slow, easy-to-digest carbs to fuel the training. The combination of this complex carb with high-quality protein and fats will give you sustained energy during all your training sessions.
- Greek yogurt with blueberries and oatmeal
They provide slow-digesting carbohydrates to fuel our workout, and greek yogurt (always best plain, with no added flavors) provides plenty of protein to prevent muscle breakdown.
- An omelet of 4 or 5 eggs combined with a good source of carbohydrates (whole-wheat toast, for example).
Eggs are a superfood. They have low calories per unit, carotenoids, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, omega 3, and a host of vitamins and nutrients.
- Low-fat cottage cheese, eggs, and apricots.
Cottage cheese contains casein, a slow-digesting protein that feeds muscles for hours, helping them grow and recover. Add apricots to a serving of cottage cheese: the combination of protein and simple carbohydrates is a perfect pre workout meal!
- Chicken, turkey, meat, or fish with rice, pasta, potatoes, whole grains, leafy greens, and vegetables with olive oil.
Recommended Pre Workout Snacks
- Protein shakes with low-fat milk or almond milk and banana slices. Whey is a good option for a fast snack when you don’t have much time to prepare a meal. It is rapidly absorbed and you can combine it with fruits for an energy boost, as their natural sugar content spikes blood sugar levels and healthy fats like nut milk or even peanut butter!
- Hard-boiled egg with fruit smoothies.
- Dried fruit with greek yogurt, nuts butter, or a small handful of your preferred nuts.
Snacks are good options as they can quickly increase your protein intake as you are on the go, and they fit in your gym bag without much trouble. A small meal can mean a lot for a hard workout, as they can give you that little, needed boost to push harder!
Also, Mitchelle Morgan, a published writer stated that you can add dietary supplements to increase and improve your performance, as they aid during high-intensity exercises and promote muscle recovery, so you won’t feel sluggish and fatigated.
Combine Variety Type Of Food
It is recommended to always add variety and include all macronutrients in your meals and snacks. You might be wondering something like, is cereal a good pre workout meal? It can be if mixed with other macros. Don’t exclude food groups, as they all have certain specific functions.
Check Your Timing
Exercising right after eating can cause nausea and vomiting. When a person practices an intense exercise routine after eating, they are unconsciously causing the body to use energy substances such as glucose for training, interrupting the digestion process. Since food is not being digested correctly, the body can provoke vomiting to expel it. So, whether you do your training at home or go to the gym, have your plan on what and when to eat.
Training with an empty stomach is not really advisable, as you won’t have the needed energy to perform at your best. Also, post-workout nutrition is important. Filling your body with the healthiest best foods will aid in fast recovery and faster results. Avoid processed foods and stay hydrated during your workout, as it will avoid muscle cramps.
According to HealthCanal, there are clear benefits to consuming carbohydrates and protein before workouts, however, the effectiveness depends on the type and duration of the workout. Protein lowers the glycemic index of the meal and stimulates the body to release energy slowly rather than in one quick burst, which is ideal for more extended periods of exercise.