When working out, what you eat plays a big role in determining whether or not you will achieve your desired outcome. Speaking of nutrition, bodybuilding and exercise require you take the right meals at the right time. This includes observing proper diet in your regular meals as well as before and after working out. In this case, what you eat before working out affects your performance as well as your body composition over time. When looking to lose fat, increase strength, and gain lean muscle, what you eat pre-workout is worth your careful consideration. But how do you go about choosing the right pre-workout diet?
Here are a few tips you may find helpful on choosing the right pre-workout diet for you.
1. Understand what your body needs
Recognizing your body’s specific needs is one of the most important things when picking a pre-workout snack. But one thing is for a fact; what works for one person may not always work for the other person. Some people tend to feel more energized with carbs alone. For others, a mix of carbs, protein, and fats does wonders. It’s important to take the time to understand what your body responds best to. This is because metabolism can be different from one person to another, meaning that knowing what to eat is important. Nonetheless, a pre-workout diet is supposed to give you a boost in performance and endurance during your workout.
2. Don’t underestimate the essence of carbs
While it might be true that a lot of carbs and sugars are bad for your weight, it’s a little bit different when it comes to pre-workout diets. Well, this is because, during workouts, the muscles source their fuel mostly from the glucose, which is mainly found in the muscles glycogen stores. For short lasting yet high-intensity workouts, your body can do with the glucose available in glycogen stores. However, these get depleted during longer workouts, leading to fatigue and probably muscle injury. Consuming carbs before workouts can be an amazing way to replenish the energy needed during longer workouts. Additionally, consuming a high-carb diet for a consistent few days in a row can boost your glycogen stores. This is known as carb loading and can be done pre-workout. Nonetheless, carbohydrates digest quickly and make a quick source of fuel when used before exercise, especially the longer, moderate to low-intensity workouts.
3. Time your pre-workout meal wisely
When choosing a pre-workout meal, it’s important to not take it too early or too late before your workout session. Timing is important, in other words. This is because different types of food have specific time frames within which they are digested and assimilated into the tissues and muscles. If you’re eating at least two hours away from your workout, a well-rounded meal composed of carbs, fats, and protein can do. On the other hand, a heavy, high-carb meal can do great if your workout session begins in an hours time. There’s also a wide range of pre-workout supplements on the market, some of which are designed to be effective for certain types and intensities of workouts. Creatine, for instance, is an example of a supplement designed to boost strength and power during the workout. If your workout is hours away, you may want to avoid fats and protein diets as these take longer to digest and may not do you good during your workout.
4. Hydration is Paramount
Staying hydrated is always important, whether you’re working out or not. However, be sure to avoid taking too much water pre-workout as this might lead to a stitch. It is advisable to take a sip every few minutes during your exercise session to replenish the fluids your body loses through sweating. The body’s ability to produce energy relies heavily on water.
5. Don’t exercise hungry
As out of scope as it may sound, exercising hungry is a big No, No! Choose your pre-workout diet using the previous tips above but come what may; do not let yourself to exercise on an empty stomach. This is because doing so will not only drain your energy, it will affect your overall performance and gain. This brings us to one very important aspect. To benefit from your workout regimen, you have to carefully plan your diet, not only before your workout but throughout the day, every single day.
In summary, the best pre-workout diet or meal for you will depend on a number of factors. These may include the type of exercise, time, your desired outcome, and your body’s specific needs. If you’d rather go with a supplement and spare yourself from the dieting agony, Pre JYM is a good example of a well-reviewed pre-workout supplement you might want to check out. Hope these tips will be helpful when choosing the right diet for you before your workout.