Ensuring you fuel your body as well as possible before a workout is the key to getting the best workout you can. If you don’t fuel yourself properly, how can you ever hope to work your muscles as thoroughly as needed for optimal growth?
What you eat before a workout can have a big effect on how well you work out, and also, what happens to your muscles during the workout.
What you need to eat pre workout…
Supplements aside, pre workout, the nutrient you most need to concern yourself with is carbohydrates. Not simple carbohydrates, but complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates will provide your muscles with a great amount of ready glycogen but won’t spike your sugar levels like simple carbohydrates.
Protein is also important pre workout, and that’s because all the while you are training and breaking your muscles down, they are going into catabolism as protein is burned for repair, so ensuring you have protein during this time is important – just as important as it is in your post workout.
Good carbohydrates to have pre workout are wholemeal bread, potatoes, pasta, brown rice or oats.
Good proteins to have pre workout are things such as fish, beef, chicken, whey protein or egg.
You may also have milk – and if you have whey, you’ll likely have milk anyway – but milk on its own probably wouldn’t be as good as the other protein foods I’ve listed because the protein in milk – casein – is slow releasing, and may not be up to the task of preventing protein breakdown during training, though this is certainly debateable and would depend entirely upon the intensity, volume and length of the training session.
Whatever meal you decide to have, eat the meals around an hour to an hour and a half before working out so they have time to digest so you don’t have indigestion, and equally important, are converted into workout energy and support for the protein-losing muscles.