Why Pre-Workout Nutrition Is So Important

A few people on our Facebook page were asking about pre and post workout nutrition, so this week is going to be all about it! I will be posting a bunch of different recipes and ideas for everyone to try all week so hopefully everyone will try some of them! First though I am going to let you know a little bit about pre workout nutrition and why it is so important.

The reason why you need to have a good pre-workout meal is to give your body the energy it needs to perform the workout, it will also help provide your body with the right nutrients to perform at your best.

An effective pre-workout nutrition plan is one that will give you quick energy sources, mostly carbohydrates, that can maintain your energy reserves and also able to provide added blood flow to the muscle tissue.

Like I said, your body obviously needs fuel to support the workout, but there are many variables to consider: like the type of workout you will be dong (endurance vs. strength), the intensity of your workout, length of your workout, and your daily energy requirements. Basically every person will have different needs but there are some general guidelines anyone can follow.

  • Include foods that are tolerable and you like; pre workout is no time to experiment with a new food.
  • Avoid high fat, greasy foods since they take longer to digest and can lead to gastric upset and sluggishness.
  • If you are 2-3 hours pre workout: eat a meal that is approximately 400-500 calories and make sure it includes carbs and proteins; low glycemic index carbs, like whole grains will give you a slow release of energy and sustain your workouts.
  • If you are 1-2 hours prior to a workout: eat a light snack.
  • If you are 30-60 minutes prior to a workout: eat a little piece of fruit, or consume 8 ounces of juice or sports drink.
  • 1 hour prior to your workout as proper hydration plays an important role in performance.

The rule is this: The less time until the workout, the less you should eat. This makes sense: It takes time to digest food, so you don’t want to scarf down a huge breakfast right before getting on the treadmill.

Make sure that you are including carbs in your pre-workout meal. It plays an important part in preparing your body for a workout. After working out for longer than 30 minutes your body will start to use its energy reserves, which is normally sugar stored in your liver and muscles.  So you body is going to start using up your muscle tissue and the energy in your blood to keep your body going. The whole point to working out isn’t to get rid of your muscle tissue, which is why you need to consume carbs before hand. These carbs will provide your body with energy by giving you sugar (which your body turns into energy.) Fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, rice, pasta, and cereals are great to maintain blood glucose (sugar) levels and maximize the carbohydrates.

A perfect time is to eat or drink your nutrition one hour before the workout. You will find that the digestion has already well progressed, and that your body is primed and ready to workout and train. But make sure you are not too full of food or drink before the workout.

So make sure you remember this when you have a snack before your workout! Tomorrow I’m going to give a few recipes for some great pre-workout snacks that are easy to make!!


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