Pre workout meal implies significant effects on our body build and is the very important meal of the day. Performing an aerobic exercise for straight twenty minutes after an eight-hour night sleep has exceptional outcomes on fat loss, but it has its own demerits as well.
During exercise, mostly fat comes from muscle cells. However, our aim is to consume fat stored below our skin. It literally, seems that we are utilizing more fat but actually it does not intimate a quicker fat loss.
After the workout remaining un-oxidized fats return to adipose tissue. This phenomenon basically nullifies the fat-burning privileges of pre-training fasting and worst case scenario is your valuable stocked muscle protein will burn in order to meet the energy deficiency created by training on an empty gut. To elevate your performance, you are required to eat and eat well.
Journal of Applied Physiology states that the rate of nitrogen content decay from your muscle protein during workout training while fastening is doubled as compared to the time when you train after a pre-workout meal. This muscle decay results in the reduction of mass and is a bad news if you want a fit muscular body. Eating a pre workout meal implies significant benefits on your body; some of the pre workout health benefits are listed below;
1. Great source of Energy
The body uses carbohydrates and glycogen as the primary source of energy. This happens due to the fact that carbohydrates and glycogen are easily convertible into ATP energy rather than other macro nutrients which are not that easy to convert into ATP energy. Hence, supplying your body glycogen reserves before a workout will provide you more energy and you will be able to perform at your best.
2. Prohibit Muscle Decay
When you exercise the body uses muscle protein and glycogen as a source of energy which means that body is in the catabolic state which breaks down muscle tissue. A substantial pre-workout meal can stop muscle depletion and provide more energy.
3. Increase Muscle Reconstruction
If you have a meal before workout then it helps your body by releasing Amino acids. The presence of amino acids in your blood stream is important for the synthesis of muscle protein. Thus your muscle growth is improved.
Important Nutrients of Pre Workout Meal
In every meal, you must count on these three macronutrients carbohydrates, protein and fats and the relative amount in which you are having these nutrients, is also important. Important Nutrients of Pre Workout Meal are described below:
Fat is a rich source of energy which provides 9000 calories per gram of it. Therefore, fat is best to have for pre workout meal but avoid using too much fat. Otherwise, you will start feeling lazy and heavy
Protein should be the major content of your pre workout meal. it is a great source of energy but its main advantage is that it restricts the muscle catabolism. it also provides a lot of amino acids which helps in muscle growth and recovery.
- high GI carbohydrates
- complex carbohydrates
The question here is which one is better for a pre workout meal?
The use of carbohydrates depends upon the type of your work out and the amount of time you are spending in the gym.
- GI carbohydrates are excellent for the first 30 minutes of your workout.
- On the other hand, complex carbohydrates provide much energy and should be consumed before 2-3 hour before training. They provide your body a slow source of energy. that is why you have a minimum possibility that you prone towards energy crash.
What Time to Eat Pre Workout
TIMING Is Every Thing
The best time to eat your pre workout meal is between 30 minutes to three hours before your workout which definitely depends on the type and intensity of your workout.
If working out is your first priority in the morning, you apparently won’t have time to eat a meal before the gym. Thus a small meal or mini breakfast would be enough.
If you are working out later in the day, I advise that you have a 100- to 150-calorie snack 30 minutes before your workout, OR you can start working out within 2-3 hours after a well-balanced meal.
30 Minutes before Workout:
If you want to work out within 30 minutes utilize light meals and foods which contain simple carbohydrates and some protein.
2-3 Hours before Workout:
If you are doing hard exercise reps then consume around 400- 500 calories containing protein and complex low GI carbohydrates (20-30g).
Pre-workout food for weight loss
If you want to lose some weight rather than gaining some muscle mass then you want to eat such food which is efficiently and artistically designed by mother nature especially for cutting body fat.
Listed below are few snacks if taken before a workout will literally transform your body into an effective fat-burning machine.
Quoted by Sarah Waybright, which is a Registered Dietitian and hold the honor of the founder of WhyFoodWorks, LLC,
“The best choice for a pre-workout snack is one that is mostly carbohydrates”
- Small glass of 100-percent juice
- Lemon juice
- Lemon grass tea
Martina M. Cartwright, a registered dietitian, and appendage professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona prescribes eating the following high-carb snacks for rapid fat burning:
- A handful of Cheerios
- half of a bagel
- wheat crackers
- a half cup of pasta with butter
- a half cup of rice with a trace of some oil
- 1/2 half cup of oatmeal with a few raisins
Pre workout meal for women’s health
Working out isn’t all about losing weight. In addition to slimming your waistline, research suggests that regular exercise can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. And staying active has also been linked to improved sleep, energy, and mood. In this scenario, women are most sensitive and delicate. Their health requires more attention and better nutrition.
Some basic and important pre workout nutrition for women are mentioned below
- sedate calcium level
- Carbs are good for health
- Drink up, hydrate yourself as much as you can
Here are some pre-workout meal combinations ideas for women,
- A smoothie with 1 cup of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables
- An apple or pear with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
- ¾ cup of Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon granola and ½ cup of berries
- 2 tablespoons of dried fruit and 1 tablespoon of raw, unsalted nuts
- 100-calorie granola bar
- 1-2 rice cakes topped with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
- Oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ cup of fruit
- 4-ounces of baked salmon, ¾ cup of brown rice, with 1 cup of roasted veggies
Pre workout meal bodybuilding
Four main ingredients that every bodybuilder should have his main focus on, to get unstoppable gain gains. Below mentioned are the four tips so that you can make a strong pre workout diet plan. By doing so, you can build remarkable muscles.
These four nutrients of the pre workout food for the bodybuilders are divided into two phases according to time plan.
1-2 Hours before Training
- Slow-Digesting Carbohydrates
Phase Two Pre-Workout Supplements
30 minutes to 45 minutes before training
- Scientifically Formulated Pre-Workout Supplements
Top 10 Pre Workout Foods
Here are the most common and most beneficial meals/foods that you can have before exercise and they have been frequently advised by professional Nutritionists and health specialists.
Nowadays we get synthetic sugar, derived from sucrose and chemically treated. Bananas are the rich and efficient source of natural sugar simply sedated carbohydrates and potassium. The storage of potassium in our body is unstable, it stores for a less amount of time. So consider eating a banana just before 30 minutes to exercise. Banana contributes increased strength/energy and increase glycogen reserves.
Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables
This combination of chicken, rice, and vegetables is a typical healthy meal and considered
perfect as a pre workout meal. This provides a great combination of lean protein and
complex carbohydrates which further produce long chains of amino acids to promote muscle construction and are the slow source of energy.
If you are on a dieting routine and planning to lose some weight then you must avoid dried fruit. However, they are very useful as a pre workout meal. they are rich in sugar and high calories and provide instant energy during work out. Greek yogurt is also rich in protein as compared to the regular yogurt. Greek yogurt helps in optimizing your workout.
Porridge and Oatmeal
The ultimate meal for pre workout which provides excellent and instant energy is porridge and oatmeal. if you consume Porridge and oatmeal approximately 2 hours before the workout, it will provide an enormous amount of complex carbohydrates and is a good hunger killer. to enhance the energy gain try adding protein powder to it.
Smoothies have great flavor and no doubt it is super healthy. it proved itself an exceptional pre workout meal that provides a large range of macro nutrients. These macro nutrients are a slow source of energy and help all the way through the workout. However, smoothies seem like a drink. But actually, they are the replacement for a meal because they are rich in calories. If you add fruits to a smoothie this combination will become quite right releasing calories and vitamins.
Wholegrain Bread, Sweet Potato, and Brown Rice
The combination of Wholegrain Bread, sweet potato, and brown rice is a great source of energy it provides plenty of carbohydrates. This pre workout meal should be taken two or three hours before a workout. Blending these foods with a healthy source of protein will produce a slow discharging energy and will fuel you completely through the workout.
Apple Wedges and Peanut Butter
An apple a day keeps the doctor away is one way to describe an apple. If you enjoy sliced apple try adding peanut butter by smearing it on the wedges of sliced apple. it proves itself a tasty and healthy pre workout food.
Simply Eggs or egg whites provide a high amount of proteins and amino acids which are essential for muscle building. Protein boosts metabolism.
Homemade Protein Bars
Protein meals that are homemade are a best on the go pre-workout food. It is economical and healthy. The one great thing about is that you can control its contents depending upon your energy requirements. You can make such meal which is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
If you are in a hurry and have no time any of above-mentioned meals then a protein shake is the solution to all of your energy problems. This helps you in a matter of time and is such fast source of energy.
Snacks are used as instant fuel and help in immediate supply of energy. The recovery process of muscles continues 24 hours a day and this process needs energy constantly. Therefore having snacks time to time during a day is a good idea.
Here is the list of best pre-workout snacks;
Parfait is a mousse comprises of whipped cream, fruit and eggs. This fancy sounding parfait is the best combination of fats and carbohydrates. you can eat it during your way to the gym. It is great for instant energy.
Whole Orange Smoothie
You should use an orange smoothie instead of any synthetic flavored juice. And to top this combination of carbs and minor fat with protein, use some amount of protein powder. NOW foods protein powder is famous among people for protein intake.
Almond Coconut Mocha Smoothie
Smoothies are loved by the people who are conscious about their health and follow a strict diet plan. This Almond Coconut Mocha Smoothie combines both coffee and coconut smoothie which is enough for a whole morning workout.
Oats are Cereal grains and rich with energy. if used in the morning oats can prove itself an excellent snack. As a snack, it contains the whole package and is enough for serving three people.
Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie
Banana has its own merits and if you combine banana with blueberries, and nonfat yogurt, almond, and milk, it becomes an unbeatable combo.
This provides a huge amount of fuel for your workout. try having it about 45 minutes before you begin your workout.
Mocha Protein Shake
Protein shakes are dull and tasteless but when they are combined with chocolate and coffee becomes delicious and appetizing.
A chocolate flavored protein shake has a big fan following. some people may suggest adding three to four cubes of sugar for more sweet flavor but I would prevent from doing this because adding sugar would not be healthy enough.
Banana Bread Greek Yogurt Parfait
As we know Greek bread is rich in protein than other yogurts. Making this banana bread Greek yogurt is simple and is, all the way energy efficient. Even you can make it and store it in the fridge and use it whenever you want. it helps in times when you are in hurry.
Fresh Strawberry Parfait with Cottage Cheese
Normal parfait is enough and quite satisfying enough in terms of energy. But if you are willing to work for a longer duration, you may need some amount of fat. So a touch of cottage cheese in Strawberry Parfait on in any other parfait is perfect. it will give you the right amount of energy to go with longer duration of exercise.
5-Minute Protein Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Here is the tip to save your time. this will be finished within the minutes and with very little effort. The only thing you have to do is to make homemade peanut butter bar and cut them into three pieces. Roll the pieces in the form of balls and just have couples of balls just ten to fifteen minutes before the workout.
Tzatziki Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
For an instant energy, you can mix up a chicken salad and fill it or pack it into the pita pocket. pita pocket is a delicate and flat bread which is specifically made by baking the wheat flour.
You can have this energy bread anytime you want. this bread is a rich source of energy and sufficient for a pre workout meal.
Broccoli Cheese Pepper Omelets
Omelets are everyone’s pick. the excellent thing about omelets is anyone can have them at any time of the day. You can prepare omelets with a variety of recipes. Added vegetables in the eggs are most favored among people. For more added energy with less effort and little loss of time, you can try adding cheese in the recipe which gives more energy for the longer workout.
Almond Butter Banana and Coconut Energy Bowl
You can make this snack by blending up egg and a banana and topping this mixture with almond butter, coconut, and apples.
By this combination, you get sort of oatmeal but with no grains. This combo proves its self very help full for a pre workout meal.
Avocado Toast with Hard-Boiled Egg
An Avocado toast is a sort of a sandwich prepared from a scratch with mashed avocado. Avocado has many health benefits and is rich in energy and it is the main ingredient of this sandwich. For added protein content you can add an egg or two. it is a classic combo for morning pre workout snack.
Turkey Avocado Wrap
Turkey is all about protein and is mostly considered as a meal but this turkey wrap is a smaller version of meal i.e. a snack. It is a mini version and good for pre workout exercise.
Hydration is most important for a workout. you lose a lot of water, and important minerals during exercise and get dehydrated. it is important for you to get yourself properly hydrated. and sports drink is the best way to get your lost minerals or electrolytes back. sports drink plays an important role to keep you going and are low in calories.
What to avoid
- Fast food; cheese burgers, pizza, doughnuts. these are fat rich food and fat love your stomach and leaves it very slowly.
- raw sugar and candy; although raw sugar and candy have carbohydrates and they are good for the body but avoid getting carbohydrates from raw sugar and candy as much you can.
- Don’t over eat before work out, too much eating will result in indigestion, sluggishness, nausea, and vomiting.
A brief Overview
Before workout always chose that food which is easy to digest. this refrains you from vomiting and belly pain. Pre workout meals should be taken either before 30 minutes to training or 2-3 hours before training.
Moreover, there are many synthetic supplements that help in performance and increase recreation. Like it better or not, pre-workout diet habits win in a long run. They last longer and provide much better energy sources and help you recover fast.
a thing to note here is that this article is only for guidelines. Everyone’s body is different and everyone has different needs and preferences, therefore, one should act accordingly.