Knowing what to eat before you train shouldn’t be rocket science.
Here are the rules you need to follow for better gains.Here’s your top pre-workout foods!
Getting the most from your training program means you will have the energy to do exercises at higher intensities whether it is heavier loads, more reps or running an extra mile. To have more energy, you’ll need to consume clean nutrients prior to your training. Clean health should be everyone’s top priority!
Top pre-workout supplements have become quite popular. But, you can save money by consuming basic whole foods that nearly every grocery store sells.
Let’s take a look at what top pre-workout means and see which foods you should be consuming.
What Is The Top Pre-Workout Foods Entail?
You should be consuming five or six small meals on a daily basis regardless of what type of easy diets you are on. The smaller meals mean you are constantly keeping your body full of the three macronutrients our daily caloric intake is based on.
Macro means large. In other words, a macronutrient simply means a larger nutrient. Smaller ones are called micronutrients. These are mainly vitamins and minerals.
Of course, a pre-workout meal is one you have before your training session. This could refer to either a pre-workout snack or meal. When it comes to a snack, keep in mind that you really don’t want to be eating a lot of food before training.
This snack is usually only 100 to 200 calories, as it needs to be digested quickly so you are not training on a full stomach. These snacks should be consumed 30 to 45 minutes prior to your training.
A pre-workout meal is a lot different. It is consumed two or three hours prior to training and is often pretty heavy and high in calories.
This gives your body plenty of time to digest and get the nutrients where they are needed within your muscles prior to training. You will not experience an amazing rush during training, but the nutrients will keep you going throughout your training.
What Are The Top Pre-Workout Foods?
Pre-workout foods have all of the macronutrients. The foods consumed are twofold. Part of your meal should be faster at digesting nutrients so they are ready prior to training.
The other aspect to keep in mind is you need to also be consuming slow digesting nutrients.
To ensure they last throughout your gym workouts and to reduce early muscle fatigue.
Before getting into more details, let’s briefly discuss fats, carbs and protein. Protein is used to help keep your muscles strong and reduce the onset of muscle fatigue. Carbs are the nutrients that are ready to be used instantly for weight training for beginners and other quick-paced exercises such as sprinting.
Fats are your secondary energy source once carbs have been depleted.
Why Do You Need Protein?
Protein is a nutrient well known for gaining muscle benefits. But, being the building blocks of life it is actually needed by every cell in your body so they can all repair and grow.
Protein is vital for humans. So you really need to be consuming this macro.
Muscle growth comes from this nutrient being sent to your cells. They repair the damaged muscle fibers and allow them to recover by reducing fatigue. They then enable the growth cycle leaving fuller muscle behind. Lean protein sources are the better choice unless you are trying a mass building workout.
Protein is usually known to come from meats, poultry, fish and dairy. Of course, you could also get it through supplements such as whey protein isolate. You generally want lean protein prior to training because you do not want a lot of fat going into a training session.
This means that it will be beneficial to your pre-workout because your muscles are fed continuously throughout your training program.
Believe it or not, protein also can be found in other places. For example, veggies, legumes and oats also have this nutrient as well. Sadly, they don’t offer too much protein so don’t use them as your main sources.
Low protein intake could lead to fatigue, headaches and body aches. Serious medical conditions arise if this occurs for too long.
Why Are Carbohydrates Important?
Carbs get a bad rap.
People like to eat a lot of unhealthy carbs. You obviously can’t eat foods full of sugar and artificial fillers and expect to be receiving health benefits. Complex carbs are what you should be consuming. And not necessarily in the carb cycling kind of way.
These are full of the good carbs that allow proper energy production for heavy lifts and keep your body fueled until your muscles are exhausted. Complex carbs usually have plenty of dietary fiber as well. Fiber health is very important.
Fiber is a carb, but does not count when being consumed. There are slow digesting carbs.
Your body can’t digest it. Since it is not digestible, it takes longer to leave your body. This leaves you feeling more content or fuller. That’s a good thing when it comes to preventing cravings. It also burns a lot more calories to accomplish this task.
Carbs are sugar in the form of glucose or fructose (fruit sugar). These sugars are stored primarily within your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen.
Glycogen is used by your body’s metabolism as the main source for energy to do physical tasks, especially during training. If your glycogen storages are full and you consume more carbs, then they send this away to be stored within fat cells.
This is why people gain fat rapidly.
Why Do You Need To Consume Fats?
Fats are not really as bad for your body as older studies tend to show. Modern research goes beyond what was said decades ago. Fats are the secondary source for energy after glycogen storages have been used up and are what protect our organs from being damaged.
Old research showed that all fats lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol build up.
But questions began to arise when people on low-fat diets got even worse, and soon they realized patients were just suffering more from the absence of good fats not reducing bad cholesterol.
As far as fitness is concerned, this nutrient is a vital component to the production of hormones. Post workout you need dietary fats to stimulate anabolic hormones for better muscle recovery and growth.
Saturated fats are looked down on even though they are vital for hormone production.
Eating too much saturated fat was often seen as being the cause of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up. But, modern research shows that it actually decreases LDL and increases HDL (good cholesterol). A new study even shows that people who ate a lot of saturated fats with little carb intake experienced no LDL spikes at all.
Apparently saturated fat combined with simple carbs seems to boost negative effects.
These Are Top Pre-Workout Foods To Get The Boost You Want
As mentioned, you want a mix of both fast-digesting nutrients with some slow digesting ones. This combo will keep your body content and muscles happy during intense training sessions.
But, remember, snacks are to be consumed 30 to 45 minutes prior to training, while meals should be eaten two or three hours before.
#1 Cottage Cheese with Mixed Berries
Cottage cheese is high in natural casein protein and has dietary fast as well. This type of food will slowly give your muscles protein during every lift until fatigue occurs.
The berries are a good source for carbs. They will give you the energy needed to pump weights harder. They are also good for their antioxidants. These reduce the inflammation of your muscles during and after training. Plus, these fruits are hydrating as well. And not terrible in terms of water weight.
#2 Green Tea with Honey
Green tea has antioxidants naturally within it to keep the muscle damage to a minimum. But the better part about this type of food prior to training is that it has caffeine.
What’s so great about caffeine?
It is known to increase mental focus while also boosting your energy levels significantly.
Green tea also naturally burns calories since this heats your body up to increase your heart rate. Believe it or not, the honey is not here for added taste. Instead, the honey is here to give your body plenty of carbs to train hard for up to two hours.
#3 Orange Juice with Whey Protein Isolate
Orange juice has lots of vitamin C. We all know that. It is also high in natural water content. Vitamin C is often discussed when it comes to boosting your immune system.
You can also find orange juice reinforced with calcium and vitamin D. Both are important for your body since calcium helps develop stronger bones while a vitamin D deficiency could lead to many health issues.
Whey protein isolate is quick to digest and should be consumed with orange juice. You should consider keeping your content of carbs and protein under advisement while training. You should only buy whey protein if you are no longer able to eat real food and get all the protein you need from natural sources.
#4 Old Fashioned Oats
These are high in omega-fatty acids, fiber and also have protein. Old fashioned oats are easy to cook and take a little time to get used to.
Your heart and everything else is going to enjoy the fatty acids and good cholesterol reduction of LDL to possibly reduce the chances of any medical conditions down the road.
You can easily cook this with milk if you want more saturated fats and protein.
#5 Peanut Butter on Celery Sticks
This is a great high protein snack. It also comes with carbs and dietary fats. The peanut butter makes the celery taste better since so many people do not like its natural bitter after taste.
This is very easy to make. You simply cut a celery stalk into three or four slices and then smother peanut butter on it. You could consider adding raisins if you failed to get enough carbs for the day.
It might not be the best tasting snack, but it is packed full of valuable nutrients.
Should You Use Top Pre-Workout Supplements?
Most people are seeking a magical pill that allows muscle to develop quickly. Many believe they will get that through their pre-workout supplement. Forget that. It simply doesn’t exist.
The only people that should be using pre-workout supplements are healthy people.
In some cases, you could cause injury to your heart and increase your blood pressure while consuming a pre-workout supplement.
Use them if you wish, but you should wait until you have trained for six months to see where your body gets without them.
Supplements are only intended to enhance your already established diet and fitness program. Don’t forget that. Ensure that you eat a pre-workout meal or snack during the right times.
Do Not Eat Too Much Food
When you eat too much food your body has a harder time to digest it. That means you could feel bloated while at the gym. And, you don’t want that.
This bloated feeling does not just make your stomach look bad. It also keeps you from being able to train properly.
Think about what you are eating and consider whether or not that food is good for you. Remember: Food should be quick to be consumed during your training session.
Energy levels are vital during big lifts since they keep you pushing your body harder for better muscle contractions and growth.
Whether you are trying to build muscle or lose fat, you need to eat. Top Pre-Workout Foods are very important. They will help you build the physique you want. But, you must be smart about it. Give your body time to digest.
Also, remember to get plenty of protein, as well as the right fats and carbs. You need them all to build the body you want.