A lot of bodybuilders and fitness fanatics alike, practice the art of eating before working out. The logic behind it being that if you eat a light energy-filled meal, you will get a pre-workout effect and bang out a much better training session. But how much does eating before a workout actually help?
Eating Before Working Out
Pre-workout nutrition is a tricky thing. Working out on an empty stomach is not a good idea because your body could start catabolizing and basically devouring itself and in the process killing your energy and strength.
On the other hand, if you go crazy with food before a workout you will barely be able to move or do anything because all of your body’s energy is focused on getting all that food out of your system. To make the ideal pre-workout meal you have to keep two things in mind.
1. Meal Size
As mentioned above, you really shouldn’t overdo your meal. It’s just something to give your body energy and keep you full and not to eat like it’s your last meal. A typical pre-workout meal size should be half of a regular meal portion consisting of protein, fats and carbs.
Another important aspect you should keep in mind when prepping your pre-workout meal is timing. Not too early, not too late. The best window for eating before a workout is between 45 minutes to 2 hours before you hit the weights.
This also depends on what kind of training session are you pulling. Standard weight training, cardio, or something sports based. Your best bet would be eating an easily digestible meal.
Find out the benefits of eating a pre workout meal on the next page…
Benefits Of A Pre-Workout Meal
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s see why it’s so good.
1. Reduces Muscle Glycogen Depletion
When you workout, your muscles use carbs stored in them as energy. Those carbs are called glycogen. A good pre-workout meal can reduce your body’s consumption of glycogen and instead use the fresh energy you just gave it.
2. Reduces Muscle Protein Breakdown Caused By Exercise
Intense workouts could force your body to start breaking down the proteins it gets from nutrients. Eating a pre-workout meal with a good amount of protein and carbs will reduce that process because your body just got a fresh dosage of energy and carbohydrates.
3. Muscle Anabolism
Muscle Anabolism is when when your body uses nutrients to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Eating a protein-packed pre-workout meal can not only restore glycogen levels, but also help your body promote better protein synthesis and muscle anabolism.
4. Reduce Soreness and Fatigue
Doing a workout session while being hungry can cause fatigue and increase muscle soreness. That happens because the machine isn’t getting enough fuel to light the fire. Your body’s energy levels are low and it’s needing a new round of proteins, carb and fats — which you are not giving it.
For instance, if you eat peanut butter on toast with a side of some fruits before a workout, you would be giving your body a good short-term energy boost along with some protein for muscle building.
What would also happen is that you wouldn’t feel tired or fatigued — you would be a bullet fired out of a gun.