Pre-workout nutrition has become an interesting topic in recent years. These days, countless people offer their unique suggestions for what we should eat before training and how to time our meals.
But why do we have to worry about pre-workout nutrition? More importantly, what should we eat, and what might we want to avoid?
But First: Why Do We Need to Eat Before a Workout?
If you’re like most people, you probably wonder what the point of eating before training is. After all, if you’re eating regularly and (mostly) healthily, what does it matter that you eat soon before working out?
Well, pre-workout nutrition is vital for 3 good reasons:
1. It provides you with the energy you need to push through intense workouts and perform optimally.
2. It reduces the risk of muscle protein breakdown as a result of your training.
3. It provides you with the building blocks and energy you need to kickstart the recovery process before you’ve even finished the workout.
For this to be possible, you need to get enough of two nutrients: protein and carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for your body - optimize your performance and begin to replenish lost glycogen during your workout. Protein provides your body with the building blocks it needs to support muscle mass, kickstart the recovery process, and prevent excessive muscle protein breakdown.
Fats offer many long-term benefits (metabolic function, cell creation, brain health, etc.), but they don’t seem to benefit our athletic performance in the short run. So, you can have some fats in your pre-workout meals, but they are not mandatory.
Fantastic Pre-Workout Foods to Consider
Okay, pre-workout nutrition is kind of important. It optimizes our performance, allows us to feel good, and kickstarts the recovery process. If we care about our performance, we should pay some attention to how we fuel each workout.
Here are some of the best foods to consider:
- Fruits - bananas, apples, pears, berries, and similar
- Starchy vegetables - peas, potatoes, corn, beans, and similar
- Whole grain products - brown rice, bread, pasta, oatmeal, and such
- Our P-nuff Crunch snacks
- Meat and fish
The exact size of your pre-workout meal will depend on your overall caloric intake and how close your workout is.
For example, if your training is two to 2.5 hours away, you can allow yourself to eat a bit more. In contrast, if you want to eat something an hour before training, make the meal smaller - for instance, two servings of Pnuff Crunch. That way, you have enough time to digest the food. Use your best judgment.
Some Thoughts On Dairy
Dairy is healthy and offers high-quality protein. But we recommend you consume it with caution, especially as part of your pre-workout meals. The reason is, dairy is known to cause some stomach distress and can ruin your workouts. You might end up feeling nauseous and bloated, which will surely limit your performance.
It’s best to reserve dairy products like milk and yogurt for after your workout. If you want to have some prior, experiment will small amounts and see how they treat you.