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How Should Your Pre Workout Meal Look Like?
Why would you consume a pre workout meal or take a pre workout supplement? Well, the answer is quite simple, in order to get the most out of your workout you need to fuel your body with the right types of foods or a good supplement.
Fitness revolves around food, your diet is the most important aspect of gaining muscle or getting in shape. To build muscle you NEED to eat well and the right types of foods.
In line with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, your macros should be obtained from whole and minimally processed foods.
It goes without saying that you need to train hard, but to train hard and recover fast you need to fuel your body with the right nutrients.
But NO, If you have a large meal too soon upon training then your body is only going to be focussed on digesting all the food you just ate.
Your pre workout meal should have a good balance of macros:
- High glycemic index carbs (quick energy)
- Fats ( HGI carbs and fats go well together)
High Glycemic Index Carbs
You might be thinking what the heck does that long complex word mean…
High glycemic index carbs are nothing more than fast-acting carbohydrates. These carbohydrates release their energy quickly, which makes them perfect for your pre workout meal.
Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar and hence insulin levels.
Preferably you want a carbohydrate with a glycemic index of over 70. (over 70 and above is rated high)
The best carbohydrate sources
- Potato regular or sweet potato
- Rice cakes
- whole-grain cereal
In your pre workout meal you want a little bit of fat but not too much!
If you have rice as your carbs source for your pre workout then that rice will digest really fast. Which can lead to you having a crash mid training session!
To prevent this from happening you can add a little bit of fat to that meal. You can cook your white fish in coconut oil then that will sustain it.
Healthy Fat sources:
- Coconut oil ( half tbsp)
- Olive oil
As discussed above a little bit of fat is okay, but don’t go overboard. Meat sources like beef or salmon are too high in fat. Therefore go with leaner types of meat like the following:
- Egg Whites
- Whitefish (cod, tilapia, etc,)
Pre Workout Supplements
Pre workouts have become crazy popular over the years, and the market for it has grown tremendously as well.
Some people love them, and some people dislike them.
The one thing you can’t disagree on is that they WORK!
Pre workouts give you focus and stamina when it comes to weight and endurance training. You will be able to lift heavier weights for longer and fatigue less quickly.
Why would someone dislike pre workout supplements? That is probably because of its ingredients. Even though all ingredients are legal and should cause no harm some products have really high amounts of certain ingredients.
And that can cause someone to move away from a pre workout supplement.
One of the ingredients that every product has is caffeine. These supplements are high on caffeine and some might be going over the preferred amounts.
Below is one of my all-time favorite pre-workout that has it all.
Key Ingredients For Pre Workout Supplement
Bbeta-alanine is an ingredient I wanted to touch on a bit more. This ingredient is why people love and buy pre workouts. This gives you the tingling feeling when you drink the shake and immediately gives you the urge to go to the gym and smash those weights.
Beta-alanine improves athletic performance by reducing fatigue, increasing endurance, and boosting performance in high-intensity exercises.
What NOT to eat Pre workout
- Trans fats
- Trans Fats require a different level of digestion because it takes a lot more enzymes to break them down.
- consuming them too close to a workout you’re not going to be able to absorb them and they require a certain level of mechanical digestion.
- Fruits and veggies
- The same goes for fruits and veggies, they are hard to break down for the body. If you do have them, make sure to have them at least an hour before working out!
To get the most out of your workout should you focus more on an actual meal or a supplement?
Well, they always mention that a supplement should not be replaced for actual good nutrition.
And I think that is true, but you should have the best of both worlds..right?
Having a well thought out pre workout meal 1 hour before training and adding a scoop of pre workout 20 minutes before training is in my opinion the ultimate way of having an amazing workout.
Check out my favorite pre workout here so you can smash your next gym session!