5 best foods to eat pre workout14.01.22
If you want to train hard then you need the right fuel in the tank. Without eating healthy prepared meals, you will not be able to perform at your best and can be left feeling sluggish and fatigued both during and after a training session. This is why the foods you consume pre workout are so important.
Usually when you think of pre workout, you associate it with artificial bars and gels that can give you a buzz that lasts way longer than you want it to. However, the best sources of pre workout nutrition come from natural foods and healthy meal prep that will boost your energy levels and give your body the nutrients it needs for a healthy and balanced diet. Not only do pre workout foods provide you with fuel for your session, but they can also be an important factor that contributes to your recovery too.
Which foods should I eat?
Each macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein and fats) play an important role in pre workout nutrition. They all have their place depending on your training style.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main nutrient for short-term and intense exercise.
When carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, this is then stored as glycogen in the body which is a source of energy for exercise. Heavy gym sessions, HIIT workouts and sprints are all training methods that require a sufficient amount of glycogen stores.
Protein is the macronutrient that helps with muscle recovery and growth. Without a sufficient amount our muscles will not be able to recover appropriately after a training session.
Some studies show that pre workout protein can increase muscle protein synthesis and aid muscle growth. Therefore, including some protein in your pre workout meal could have a positive effect if your goal is to build muscle.
Although it seems like an outlier, healthy fats can also be a great part of a pre workout meal. But this doesn’t mean eating a whole greasy pizza before your training session.
So far, research points towards fat being the most useful macronutrient for low intensity, longer training, such as endurance running. Including some healthy fats could be a way to improve your long distance training.
Top 5 pre workout foods
If you want the ultimate pre workout breakfast then look no further than your average bowl of porridge. Oats are a complex carbohydrate that slowly releases energy. If you train mid-morning/lunch time then your bowl of porridge should satisfy your hunger and keep your energy levels high throughout the session. Our coconut and dark chocolate chia seed porridge on the menu this week would make the perfect pre workout breakfast.
This is another fantastic carbohydrate that will provide energy for intense workouts. However, because fruit loaf contains fruit which are usually high in sugar you will get a more powerful but shorter release of energy. Eating fruit 60-30 minutes before training will spike your energy levels.
Eggs are an excellent source of both protein and fat. Including this as a pre workout meal might be useful for low intensity training such as marathon training as it will help to release energy over a longer period. You can even pack out your omelette with other foods such as vegetables to include more vitamins and minerals.
Want a short sharp burst of energy? Bananas are the way to go. Not only are they a simple carbohydrate, making it easy to eat before training but bananas are full of other nutrients such as potassium that are essential for healthy living. Plus bananas are easy to eat on the go.
This is for those that are constantly on the go and need a quick meal to satisfy their hunger. A small protein shake will provide you with protein to help maximise muscle growth and recovery. It’s the ultimate fitness food, and there’s a reason for that.
When to eat pre workout foods
When you eat depends on the meal you choose before training. If you are choosing a larger meal, or one with fat and protein then you should try and consume it 2-3 hours before training. This is also the same for meals that consist of complex carbohydrates such as oats and wholegrain bread. This is because they produce slow releasing energy that lasts over a longer period.
Foods high in sugar and easy to digest are better consumed 60-30 minutes before training. This is because you will receive a short burst of energy that will get you through an intense training session. You can bring fruit to the gym as part of your gym meal prep and eat it just before training.
Planning to hit the gym today? Make sure you’re fuelled appropriately to maximize your workout potential.