Adequate pre-workout nutrition allows you to have the energy you need in order to avoid discomfort during exercising, prevent injuries and achieve better athletic performance. Here we will go over the best food options to eat before working out.
Nutrients Before Training
Before training or engagement in physical activity, it’s important to be well hydrated. Water should be consumed throughout the day and a few minutes before engaging in physical activity you should drink between 350-500 milliliters (12 to 16 ounces) of water or an isotonic sports drink. Isotonic drinks have sugars that are absorbed quickly, but the carbohydrate concentration should not be greater than 7-8% because it could cause digestive discomfort. Professional sportsmen need these drinks, but a person who performs an hour of physical activity daily can be perfectly hydrated with water.
As far as nutrients before physical exercise, pre-workout snacks should be rich in easily assimilated carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potato, bread), low in protein and low in fat and fiber. Carbohydrates are aimed at maintaining adequate levels of blood sugar and glycogen stores so that muscles have enough fuel throughout the workout. The amount of fat and fiber has to be greatly reduced because they slow gastric emptying and may cause discomfort (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, etc.) during training.
What Happens if you Don’t Eat Before a Workout?
Training a lot and eating little is a bad idea. Failure to consume food prior to physical activity predisposes you to fatigue during training, is related to loss of muscle mass and it increases the risk of hypoglycemia during training or competition, symptoms of which include: fainting, fatigue, blurred vision, excessive Sweating, nausea, dry mouth, headache, etc.
Examples of foods to consume 3 or 4 hours before a workout
- Whole wheat sandwich, turkey breast, low fat white cheese and tomato
- Chicken breast with potatoes (potatoes) and baked zucchini + fruit
- Omelet with peas, rice and carrot + fruit salad
- Grilled fish with mashed potatoes + fruit
- Beef scallops with white noodles and warm beet salad (boiled beetroot)
- Bolognese noodles (use low-fat ground beef and only 1 tablespoon of oil to make the sauce)
- Chicken on the wok, noodles and vegetables
- Quinoa with steamed vegetables + low fat yogurt
- Sautéed tofu with brown rice, vegetables Julienne + fruit
- Seitan with potato salad and green apple + fruit
Examples of Foods to Consume 2 Hours Before a Workout
- Protein powder (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cappuccino) + oat flakes
- Milkshake made with low-fat milk, protein powder and banana
- Soy and pineapple milk shake with whole grains
- Whole meal bread with quince and cheese
- Whole-grain bread with honey + low-fat yogurt
- Oatmeal cookies + low-fat milk
- Whole wheat bread with fresh almond cheese + 1 banana
- Low fat yogurt with rolled oats + 1 cup red berries
- Vegan oatmeal and apple cookies + soy milk
Examples of Foods to Consume 1 Hour Before a Workout
- Low fat yogurt with fruit
- Bread with honey
- Whole grains
- Energy bars
- Fruit juices and water
Healthy eating is fundamental for achieving your workout goals or training program, whether it be having an excellent performance in a particular sport, losing weight, increasing muscle mass, improving fitness or gaining weight, among others.