We all want to have a fit body and we work hard for it. We eat right, avoid junk, hit the gym every day and train hard. Although we may train ourselves mentally before a workout, we sometimes fail to fuel our body with the right pre-workout nutrition.
Many people believe it’s okay to workout on an empty stomach, especially with the popularity of plans like intermittent fasting. However, our moms were right when they said, breakfast is very important.
Before hitting the gym, it is important you fuel your body with foods low in fat, high in carbs and moderate in protein. High quantities of fat and fiber can slow down digestion and upset gastrointestinal function during workouts.
Studies suggest awesome pre-workout nutrition tips such as eating a healthy breakfast 1-2 hours before exercise increases your body’s metabolic rate, even after the workout.
Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD, knows carbs burn faster during exercise and even after exercise in this case. Eating the right kind of food before exercise puts away hunger, fights fatigue, increases your efficiency in the gym, and helps in faster recovery.
So, here are some pre-workout nutrition tips to help you get the most out of your workout.
Easily available in the grocery store and absolutely no-brainer dish. Oats are the perfect pre-workout meal that charges your body for both short-term and long-term recovery. The beauty of this meal is your energy levels stay high throughout the workout as it slowly releases sugar into your bloodstream, according to Matt Lovell, Kinetica Sports brand ambassador.
Calories in one cup of oats cooked in plain water are as low as 166 calories. Since this meal is rich in fiber, it’s ideal if you have it when you have 2-3 hours in hand before a workout.
The high fiber content in this slows down the digestive process and it burns slowly keeping you full for longer. So, depending on your mood customize this porridge the way you want i.e. Fruit burst or a tangy flavor!!!
2Pre-Workout Nutrition – Spinach Tomato Omelet
Make yourself a hot, delicious spinach-tomato omelet and that will pretty much fulfill your pre-workout requirement. Spinach, being a low glycemic carbohydrate, releases sugar slowly, and hence your insulin level stabilizes throughout the workout.
Low glycemic carbohydrate converts to energy and acts as a fuel. Egg whites are a good source of protein, however, don’t ignore the yolk completely. The yolk contains nutrients like potassium. Fat and fiber content is low in this dish which makes it easy to digest.
3Chicken, Rice, and Veggies
Now, this meal is for someone who doesn’t get time to workout in the morning. So, maybe at noon around 1 or 2 or maybe in the evening 5 or 6. Indulge in this bowl of rice, lots of veggies, and chicken, which is easy to make, provides a lot of energy for your muscles as it is rich in amino acids.
Include chicken breast or tofu with brown rice and veggies of your choice to make this a lean protein meal. You can also include beans or chickpeas to make this meal a powerhouse of protein and carbs.
4Nutrition in Dark Chocolate
As pre-workout nutrition tips go, many of you are going to love this one. Munch on a handful of dark chocolate or sprinkle a few on your Greek yogurt before your workout and it will give you enough energy for the entire workout. This delightful snack if taken before a workout can boost your performance, according to the studies.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids like epicatechin. Polyphenols and flavonoids present in dark chocolate increase the metabolic rate of the body and help in burning more calories. Consume dark chocolate that has 70% and above cocoa. However, you want to choose your dark chocolate carefully.
Avoid processed dark chocolate ( “Dutch processed” or “processed with alkali”) as it removes epicatechin and other flavonoids and doesn’t give health benefits. So carry a dark chocolate box next time you hit a gym.
5Pre-workout Nutrition Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are popular pre-workout supplements among gym fanatics and bodybuilders. The body uses protein for muscle repair and growth. The optimal time for having a protein shake is still debatable.
But studies show consuming it before or after a workout, both have a similar effect on your muscle. Make your protein shake dense by mixing your favorite fruit.
To calculate your requirement of protein, follow these pre-workout nutrition tips as a formula:
Take 1 gram Protein for every kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weigh 60 kgs, you should take a minimum of 60 grams of protein daily.
For athletes who want to build muscle and undergo high-intensity training, they need slightly higher grams of protein.
We would like to conclude this by saying listen to your body first. If your body likes a certain way of eating and living, then follow that and what you feel right for your body. But if it is not working and you feel lethargic, or notice a lack of energy or mood swings, etc., consult a doctor and please, follow their pre-workout nutrition tips.
Everyone’s body is different and requires specific nutrition. Please note if you are an athlete, it is better not to experiment with your nutrition on a day of game or race.
Jessica is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, she believes a healthy diet is key to healthy living.