If you’re a fitness enthusiast, then you inevitably asked yourself when it’s the best time to eat before a workout, at least once. Even the ones that are just getting into fitness and exercise know that nutrition is a crucial element in the success of any training.
However, knowing what and when to eat before a workout is not that simple and straightforward. That’s why this article comes as a guide for those of you that are just beginning your fitness journey, aiming to help you decide what and when to eat before you exercise.
What to Eat?
As mentioned above, knowing when to eat is not enough if you want to have excellent results after your workout and stay healthy and comfortable during your training.
That’s why you need first to understand what type of food is best for your workout and how it helps the body during the training session.
Carbs are an excellent source of glucose which is fuel for your muscles and entire body. Ensuring a proper carb intake before an exercise is a great way to make sure your body has the fuel required to push through the workout.
It is known that protein consumption improves athletic performance and combined with carbs leads to an increased muscle protein synthesis. Besides that, it helps muscle growth and recovery while increasing muscle performance at the same time.
Fats are great for short-term, high-intensity energy releases that muscles need during a heavy but short workout. If you’re planning to go for a more prolonged exercise, make sure to include fat in your diet since this will provide your body and muscles with the extra energy to finish a more extended training session.
Timing Is Essential
Now that you’re up to date with what you should eat before a workout, it’s time to move on to the matter of timing. And this subject can be approached from so many different perspectives. In general, it is recommended that you consume an entire meal two or three hours before starting your exercise.
If the time before your workout begins drops under one hour, it is better to stick with foods that are simpler to digest and focus on carbs and protein only.
As mentioned above, everything regarding your pre-workout diet is flexible and is very much influenced by the duration of your workout and the intensity you are aiming for.
Since there’s no secret recipe to tell you exactly how much to eat and how early, you can use some of the following examples to try and estimate the ideal diet you require before the training session.
Workout Starts in Two or Three Hours
In this situation, the ideal meal should be composed out of a whole grain bread sandwich with a side salad, an egg omelette with whole grain avocado toast and some fruits or lean protein, roasted vegetables, and brown rice.
Based on these three examples, you can combine the aliments presented and make your ideal meal but keep in mind at all times that you shouldn’t add anything on the side that might cause you problems during the workout.
Workout Starts in Less Than 2 Hours
You don’t need to be a nutritionist to figure out that in this situation, you need to consume less food because the time until the training session is shorter and your stomach has less time to process and digest the aliments you ingest. That’s precisely why you can go with a protein smoothie based on protein powder, banana, milk, and mixed berries.
Another option you can choose consists of a whole-grain bowl of cereal with milk or a cup of oatmeal with sliced almonds. A banana is also a great option. If you prefer to keep it a lot lighter, almond butter and a fruit preserve sandwich is the way to go.
Workout Starts in Less Than One Hour
In this situation, you should only eat the right amount of food so that your body doesn’t get weak during the workout. The preferred aliments would be fruit yogurt, a nutrition bar with wholesome ingredients or pieces of oranges, bananas or apples.
Eating correctly is essential for a successful workout and muscle growth. However, you must not forget that the human body is mostly made out of water and you need to find ways to replace the water you lose during training.
That’s why you need to drink around half a litre of water 4 hours before the exercise and around 0.2 litres 10 or 15 minutes ahead of your workout.
So, there you go! By following these instructions and tips, there’s no way you won’t be able to perform the way you want during your workout. And this translates to a healthier, fitter, and better-looking body.
About the author: William Benetton loves to travel around our huge world and write about everything that he sees. He visited a lot of countries and wants to share his experience. Last few months he designed his own website and here you can see it. He can’t live without sport, traveling and morning coffee.