The Best Pre-Workout Meals and Supplements
Much in the same way that a high performance car depends on premium grade fuel to achieve optimal results, the body’s muscle building process requires the best pre-workout meals and supplementation to achieve optimal results.
An athlete’s strength and muscle-building efforts are fueled by high-quality supplements and clean, nutritious foods because they effectively speed up your gains in terms of size and strength.
It goes without saying that not all foods are ideal to consume before a workout session. Some foods will actually hinder your progress instead of accelerating it. Specifically, sugary and greasy foods will negatively affect your performance and results as they sit in the gut for long periods of time. They also can lead to extreme fatigue which causes poor workout performance and poor results.
On the opposite end, if you do not eat before a workout session, you risk suffering from low blood sugar levels which is a situation that can result in light-headedness. As such, it is vital that you consume a pre-workout meal or supplement that is both healthy and light.
Supplements: The Most Common Pre-Workout
When it comes to pre-workout meals, there is no better meal than a pre-workout supplement. These supplements are perfectly named because they are ideal for consumption before your workout.
Pre-workout supplements provide your body with everything it needs to maximize your performance in the gym: energy, electrolytes, amino acids, and creatine, just to name a few.
Pre-workouts are light and full of nutrition. They provide the body with the energy that’s required to push through highly intense training. At the end of the day, the harder your able to push yourself, and your muscles, the better your muscle gains will inevitably be.
What Pre-Workout Meals Should Consist Of:
Essential Pre-Workout Ingredient #1: Carbohydrates
Carbs are the body’s source of energy and because of this, they make-up the best pre-workout meal. Compared to proteins and fats, carbohydrates use less oxygen per kilocalorie when it comes to the energy that’s produced. This is because carbohydrates are converted into glycogen which is stored in the muscles and liver. During your workout session, glycogen is converted into glucose which is the primary source of energy/fuel. Your body’s ability to efficiently exercise depends on the quantity of glucose produced. A high-intensity, 90 minute workout totally depletes the body’s supply of glycogen and puts you at a risk of feeling extremely lethargic during the session and impedes your endurance.
When the glycogen supply is depleted, the body’s mechanism turns to the fat burning process in order to produce the energy you require to complete your workout. A common misconception about this fat burning process is the assumption that because body fat is being eliminated to produce energy, it will result in the development of lean muscles. This could not be further from the truth! The body’s fat burning process to produce energy is much slower than that of burning glycogen. This only slows you down during your workout session and negatively results in a lack of muscle gains.
Essential Pre-Workout Ingredient #2: Proteins
This food group is a vital component in any pre-workout meal. Your muscles are made of protein, thus your body needs a steady intake of protein to generate and maintain muscle mass. A lack of protein means a lack of gains since it is literally impossible to gain muscle mass without protein.
Proteins are especially important to individuals who engage in jogging or weight training. This is due to the fact that proteins work to aid in the repair of damaged muscles, and also help the body in the process of workout stress recovery.
Essential Pre-Workout Ingredient #3: Healthy Fats
Another common misconception that stops people from obtaining optimum levels of muscle-building and strength is the assumption that all types of fat are bad for one’s health. Contrary to this, cutting out all types of fat from your diet actually hinders your athletic performance because fat is another essential source of energy for your body.
But, we must be able to differential and recognize the different types of fat. Studies indicate that trans-fats and saturated fats raise the level of an individual’s cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL), which are considered to be bad for the body. On the other hand, poly-unsaturated and mono- unsaturated fats which can be obtained from plant-based oils and foods. These fats help regulate oxygen, promote cardiovascular health, aid in hormone restoration and augment your immune system.
The Best Preworkout Meals: It’s all about Convenience
Here are four of our favorite pre-workout meals. We love these meals because they are high in nutrition and low in time consumption. This makes it easy to consume prior to your workout by requiring little to no preparation.
Pre-Workout Meal #1: Peanut Butter with Apple Slices
Apple slices dipped in peanut butter provide a quick and easy to prepare pre-workout snack for those who have sensitive stomachs or slow digestive systems. This combination offers carbohydrates, vitamins and proteins that will augment your endurance during training sessions.
Pre-Workout Meal #2: Bananas
According to a study conducted by the Australian Institute of Sports, bananas are considered to be nature’s power bar. This is due to the fact that they are packed with potassium and digestible carbohydrates that are vital in the maintenance of muscle and nerve function. Bananas are particularly recommended as a fantastic pre-workout meal for those who exercise in the morning because they provide high levels of nutrients throughout your workout session.
It should be mentioned that the size of the banana matters. One that is too large will introduce too many carbohydrates into your digestive system. A huge amount of carbs are less likely to be completely eliminated in a training session. This results in excess calories. Thus, a medium sized banana is the best pre-workout meal option.
Pre-Workout Meal #3: Berries with Steel-Cut Oats
This perfect pre-workout meal is loaded with digestible carbohydrates, fiber, and Vitamin B. The carbohydrates are slowly processed to release energy, whereas the low content of fiber aids the digestive system without causing bloating. Berries on the other hand, provide antioxidants and Vitamin B which is vital in the process of converting carbohydrates into energy.
Pre-Workout Meal #4: Whole-Grain Bread with Eggs
The combination of whole-grain bread and eggs provides is one of the most effective pre-workout meal options. This is because it offers both high quality proteins and carbohydrates. The whole grain bread can also be topped off with honey or jam to obtain extra fuel for intensive workout sessions.
The Final Tip
All pre-workout meals should be consumed 30 to 90 minutes before a training session. Should you attempt to work out immediately after consuming a pre-workout meal, you risk suffering from the feeling of being excessively full and bloated.
On the other hand, pre-workout supplements should be taken 15 to 30 minutes prior to your workout. This will ensure that you are able to exert maximum efforts during your workout.
If you’re ready to get started, make sure you pick up a bottle of our whey protein powder which is guaranteed to give your body the nutrients it needs.