The present generation is obsessed to be fit and healthy which creates a new kind of buzz now and then. The fitness enthusiastic and athletes also want to achieve their desired goals when it comes to fitness. To improve and enhance their performance the take help of certain effective supplements and follow a rigid diet before their workout.
Our body should be worshipped and should be maintained to be healthy as it gives us so much. Having a nutritious diet and being healthy is the least you can give back to your body. Having a balanced diet will provide you with enhanced performance and help to recover faster after each workout.
Having an optimal nutrient intake before your workout will not only aid in maximizing your performance but also minimize muscle damage.
We at Healthlink.News will provide you with all the facts and tips that will aid in understanding fitness and pre-workout nutrition more closely.
Carbs are a great provider of glucose and benefit you in your workout with the help of glycogen.
Now, what is glycogen?
Glycogen functions by making the body stress and process glucose in the liver and muscle. Now, this glucose is used by your muscles procured by carbs to work as fuel providing you the necessary energy required for an intense workout.
All the short-high intensity exercises and the energy required depends on the glycogen stored in the muscles. If you are looking for a long-lasting exercise then remember your body functions differently according to the degree of carbs used depending on factors like intensity, type of training, and your overall diet.
According to studies, carbs tend to increase your glycogen stores level and make efficient use of it while boosting carb oxidation during exercise.
As the glycogen stored in your muscles comes with limitations diminishing your output and intensity and depleting your stores. Carbs become an effective option as they higher up your glycogen meter. To increase your glycogen stores you just need to consume more carbs for 1-7 days.
Protein intake has become a necessity for a healthy lifestyle. If you want to get the best results of your several hours at the gym then consuming protein before a workout will get you that excellent athletic resilience for your workout.
When you take a protein intake before your workout, it increases your muscle protein synthesis. Many studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance.
According to some research, if you take an intake of 20 grams of whey protein daily then the chances of muscle-building increase rapidly. (9Trusted Source).
There are other beneficial factors responsible for choosing protein intake before exercise are:
- An enhanced anabolic response, or muscle growth.
- Beneficial in improving muscle recovery.
- Provides increased strength and lean body mass.
- It helps in increased muscle performance.
Carbs generate maximum glycogen stores for your short and high-intensity workout while fat gives your body the necessary fuel required for longer and moderate to low intensity exercises.
Likewise, protein is required to build muscle protein synthesis and helps in recovery.
A long period of fat intake study revealed a four-week diet which included 40% of fat resulted in an increased level of endurance running times in healthy and trained runners. (1).
The Timing of Your Pre-Workout Meal Is Key
Our body functions like a machine and needs to be given its fuel timely otherwise it will not give the result that we are looking for. Having your meal is crucial and your pre-workout meal should be given more attention as the body needs food timely so that it can provide the necessary pre-exercise nutrition and energy for the workout.
If you are looking for an amazing result of your hard work in the gym then having a complete meal that includes carbs, protein and fat are needed 2-3 hours before your exercise.
Why time is so important when it comes to pre-workout meals?
Your body requires fuel in the source of food to provide the energy to have a sustained workout. If you eat too early then the food already provides the energy to your body before the workout and leaves you drained during working out. Working out on an empty stomach is not recommended.
If you eat just 45-60 minutes before your workout then you end up making your belly full which makes it difficult for a person to work out as it causes stomach discomfort. However, in some cases, you may not be able to get in a full meal 2–3 hours before working out. The best solution to this problem is if you cannot have your meal at a proper time then the sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal should be. It is recommended to go for foods that are easy to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein.
Some Examples of Pre-Workout Meals
Pre-workout meals depend on the type, duration, and intensity of the workout.
Having a combination of carbs and protein prior to exercise is considered a good idea.
If your pre-workout meal includes fat then it is suggested to eat at least a few hours before your workout.
Here are some examples of balanced pre-workout meals:
If Your Workout Starts Within 2–3 Hours or More
- Sandwich on whole-grain bread, lean protein, and a side salad
- Egg omelet and whole-grain toast topped with avocado spread and a cup of fruit
- Lean protein, brown rice, and roasted vegetables
If Your Workout Starts Within 2 Hours
- Protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana, and mixed berries
- Whole-grain cereal and milk
- A cup of oatmeal topped with banana and sliced almonds
- Natural almond butter and fruit preserve sandwich on whole-grain bread
If Your Workout Starts Within an Hour or Less
- Greek yogurt and fruit
- Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients
- A piece of fruit, such as a banana, orange, or apple
Having a routine is great and sticking to one routine is advisable for the body to adapt and function efficiently. For best results, experiment with different timings and nutrient compositions.
Supplements Can Also Be Useful Before Exercise
Supplements are meant to enhance performance, improve strength, increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue which makes them popular among fitness enthusiasts and athletes.
Some popular and competent supplements are categorized below that will lead you towards your fitness goals.
Creatine is a popular product in the market these days and it is known as best because of its ability to increase muscle mass, muscle fiber size, and muscle strength and power, all while delaying fatigue.
It is enriched with several benefits and does not come with any limitations which allow you to consume it before or even after a workout. However, it is considered best to take after the workout because of its efficiency.
If you are looking to include creatine in your fitness regime then you can start consuming 2–5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day for an effective result.
Caffeine is not only known for making you feel relaxed but is known to have loaded with benefits like it is shown to improve performance, increase strength and power, help reduce feelings of fatigue and stimulate fat burning.
Caffeine can be consumed in coffee, tea, and energy drinks, and is also found in the form of pre-workout supplements and pills. Caffeine’s benefits and performance are not restricted to its form.
Caffeine reaches the zenith 90 minutes after consumption. However, it is effective even when ingested 15–60 minutes prior to exercise (20Trusted Source).
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
What is BCAAs?
BCAAs are nothing but some essential amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine.
As per some studies, before your workout, if you consume BCAAs then it will lead to a decrease in muscle damage and increase muscle protein synthesis.
Consuming a dosage of 5 grams or more, at least an hour before exercise, is proven to be effective (2).
Beta-alanine functions to increase your muscle stores of carnosine. It is an amino acid known to be most effective for short- and high-intensity exercises.
It aids in increasing exercise capacity and muscle endurance while reducing fatigue.
It is recommended to consume a dosage of 2–5 grams daily, of which at least 0.5 grams should be consumed before your workout.
Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements
Instead of consuming a particular supplement, some people prefer a combination of the supplements mentioned above in the article which has a have synergistic effects and improves performance radically.
Caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, branched-chain amino acids, arginine, and B vitamins are among the most commonly used ingredients in these products.
What do these supplements do?
Well, they increase work output, strength, endurance, anaerobic power, reaction time, focus, and alertness proving you proper nutrition before your workout.
The dosage is dependable on the product. However, it’s generally suggested to consume them about 30–45 minutes before exercise.
Hydration Is Also Crucial
Your body is 60% water and still needs water to function and not get deprived of its nutrition.
Having a hydrated body makes it easy to have sustained and enhance performance while dehydration can lead to significant decreases in performance.
Workout makes you sweat making your body in adhere need of water. Thus, it is suggested to consume both water and sodium before exercise. This will balance out the fluid in our bodies.
According to some research conducted by The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), it is recommended to consume 16–20 ounces (0.5–0.6 liters) of water at least four hours before exercise and 8–12 ounces (0.23–0.35 liters) of water 10–15 minutes before exercise (3).
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