The Best Foods For Pre-Workout
If we are serious about taking the path of fitness, we must pay particular attention to our pre-workout nutrition. A perfect pre-workout meal is such as to prepare our body to manage the workout efficiently in its entirety. We should never find ourselves in the situation of being forced to limit the intensity of training as we are running out of energy.
The main purposes of a pre-workout meal are: a) to ensure adequate availability of amino acids for the muscles; b) prevent the occurrence of a hypoglycemic condition and related symptoms; c) provide energy for the entire duration of the workout; d) prevent us from being hungry or experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort.
What to eat before a workout?
It is advisable to have a pre-workout meal between 60 and 90 minutes before training. The main attention must be paid to choosing foods that are a source of quality proteins and carbohydrates. Among the foods that provide carbohydrates, those with a low Glycemic Index (GI) should be chosen, such as oats or wholemeal bread. Fruit is also fine as long as it is always low GI, such as apples, pears, grapefruits or cherries.
Low glycemic index foods promote a prolonged and almost constant release of glucose into the bloodstream, which in turn means having constant energy for an extended time. On the contrary, by eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as white bread or biscuits, the blood sugar will rise suddenly and after a short time it will drop just as quickly, generating that unpleasant feeling of low sugar, which will leave us suddenly sleepy and without energy. Certainly not the physical state with which we want to face our training.
As for protein sources, the choice is vast: you can choose between lean meat (chicken or turkey), skim milk, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, or a protein drink based on whey protein, egg white. egg, or soy. Clearly the portion taken should be dosed so as not to feel bloated and weighted at the beginning of the workout.
Before training, it is also necessary to limit the consumption of fibers and fats. These nutrients slow digestion and can cause stomach discomfort during training.
A study published in 1993 found that getting high amounts of fat before training reduced growth hormone levels by nearly half . This is certainly another good reason to limit the intake of fatty foods in the pre-workout.
And finally, let's not forget about hydration! According to the American College of Sports Medicine we must drink a 500ml drink 2 hours before starting the workout . This is an optimal time frame to allow the body to eliminate excess fluids and be perfectly hydrated at the beginning of the workout.
What if I eat about 30 minutes before working out?
If we only have the possibility to have a snack a few minutes before training, we can orient ourselves towards a fruit such as a banana or grapes (both have a moderate glycemic index), possibly accompanied by a protein drink (also ready-to-drink ) based on fast-release proteins, such as whey proteins. Another solution could be a protein bar (whole or half).
As we have seen, the timing of nutrient intake is just as important as their selection. With small changes to our habits we can choose the right combination of foods, thus obtaining a pre-workout meal that will provide a prolonged energy release, which will help to significantly improve the quality of our training.