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How Pre-Workout Meals Dictate Your Workout

Should you eat before a workout? What foods should you eat to increase your performance? These are some of the many questions bodybuilders and athletes ask themselves. They want to know the truth about pre-workout meals. With contradicting information available everywhere on the internet, on fitness magazines and other forms of media, it is difficult to figure out the truth about the best pre-workout meals.

Nonetheless, a well-balanced meal or a pre-workout supplement is essential in fueling your workout; provide lasting energy and giving you the much needed impetus to grow muscle. It is important to point out that poor eating habits can undermine even the best efforts to build muscle and stay fit. A pre-workout meal can make or break your workout program. Let us look at why pre-workout meals dictate your workout.

Pre-Workout Meal Helps Build Muscle

A pre-workout meal, especially one that contains protein, is essential in building muscle. How much protein you eat on a daily basis significantly affects your body’s ability to build and maintain lean muscle. This means that if you eat too little protein, you will definitely reduce your ability to make gains in the gym. Normally, when you eat a meal, it takes at least two hours for the food to be digested and for the body to absorb the food. Therefore, if you want your body to benefit from protein intake, it is advisable to eat a pre-workout meal a few hours before hitting the gym. However, proteins shake a few minutes before a workout is also essential. If you eat a sizable amount of protein an hour before working out, your plasma amino acid levels will be high during workout time.

Pre-Workouts Help Improve Performance 

A pre-workout meal, especially one that contains carbohydrates, can immensely improve your performance in the gym. Eating a nutritious carbohydrate-packed meal 15 to 30 minutes before working out will provide additional fuel for your muscles. While eating carbohydrates before a workout does not accelerate protein synthesis, it enables you to push more weight and to do more reps during your workout. Over time, this will help you build more lean muscle. There are different sources of carbohydrates out there; however, it is necessary to understand the best carbohydrates for a pre-workout meal. Low glycemic carbohydrates are the best for prolonged endurance exercises while high glycemic carbohydrates are ideal for shorter, more intense exercises. The best food sources for good carbohydrates include; bananas, rice milk, instant oat meal, white potato, sweet potatoes and raisins.

Pre-Workouts Improve Your Energy Levels

Most people think that the best fuel for working out is protein. As much as protein plays a pivotal role in building and repairing muscles, carbohydrates are the best when it comes to energizing your body during intense workouts. If you want to be a bodybuilder you understand the need for intense workouts once in a while. The glycogen stores in your muscles and liver primarily depends on the amount of carbohydrates you take. The body converts the glycogen into glucose which is used by the muscles when exercising. With the right amount of glucose in your body, you will be able to train hard for longer.

Pre-Workout Meals Aid Muscle Recovery

A good pre-workout meal containing protein can help repair muscle damage. Protein is made up of amino acids and is an important ingredient when it comes to muscle building. Therefore, an adequate supply of protein will enable your muscles recover more efficiently after each workout. In fact, when you include protein in your pre-workout meal, it will help in reducing post-exercise muscle soreness.

Pre-Workouts Help Improve Endurance

Most bodybuilders avoid fats in their diet. This is because they have this negative notion that eating fat will actually make them fat. This is not true. Completely cutting out fats can hinder your performance in the gym. Essential fats provide fuel for the body during workouts. If your workout regimen lasts more than hour, your glycogen level will reduce thus reducing the glucose supply to the muscles and the body. Therefore your body will convert the fats into energy.

However, not all fats are good for the body. For instance, saturated fats raise the blood cholesterol levels and can cause problems for the body. However, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that are found in most plant based foods and oils are very essential in the body. These fats help in regulating oxygen, improve cardiovascular health, enhance the immune system and restore hormone imbalance. The best sources for natural fats include raw nuts, oatmeal and peanuts.

Makes You Feel Energized 

Most people avoid eating a meal before going to the gym or working out. This is because most of them are afraid of cramping. Although exercising on a full stomach may make you experience muscle cramps, lethargy or nausea, working out on an empty stomach on the other hand may make you feel weak, sluggish or light-headed. This is because the body lacks the necessary fuel to sustain your energy levels during the workout. This is therefore a wake-up call to all those who avoid eating a meal before working out to start doing so.

Before you decide to eat a meal prior to working out there are a number of things you need to take into consideration. The following are some of the things you must factor before eating a pre-workout meal:

Have the Right Timing 

The general rule when it comes to pre-workout meals is to eat an hour or two before going to the gym or working out. However, if you want to eat something a few minutes prior to working out, then ensure that it is something that can be digested and absorbed fast.

The Intensity of Your Workout

If you are going to perform intense workouts then it is advisable to eat a meal that will give you the fuel needed to perform the workout without making you feel lethargic.

In summary, a good pre-workout meal should contain protein complex carbohydrates. It is important to eat at least an hour or two before working out for the food to be digested and absorbed by the body. Adequately planning your pre-workout meal is essential for good results. A tremendous option for a quick and ideal pre-workout snack is a whey protein shake, read more about how they’ll boost your results here.