No matter how strong you are, do not expect your body to provide the best performance during the training session without fuel. What I mean here is a Pre-Workout Meal.
If you aspire to achieve your goals, whether building muscle, burning fat, or doing both do whatever it takes to get the most out of your workout.
A pre-workout meal is one of the most important factors that help you succeed in your training session, but some people may neglect it or do the wrong thing.
The importance of a pre-workout meal
Good nutrition before exercise helps to provide the body with the strength and energy needed to perform better, reduce muscle damage, and each nutrient has a specific role in the meal that the body needs before exercise, and we should note that the amount of these nutrients varies depending on the person or the type of exercise he performs
Protect the body from muscle fatigue and lethargy during exercise:
- Your body converts glycogen in the liver and muscles into glucose, “a type of sugar.”
2- Muscles use glucose as their primary source of energy during exercise.
3- If the glycogen in your body is completely depleted, you will experience muscle fatigue and lethargy.
Keep muscle mass from breaking down:
As mentioned above, the body depends on glycogen for energy production.
If your body does not have enough glycogen to provide the energy needed for exercise, it will start burning muscle tissue for it.
The perfect pre-workout meal
When choosing a pre-workout meal, it’s important to aim for a balance of macronutrients.
All macronutrients have a specific pre-workout role. However, the proportion that you need to consume varies according to the individual and the type of exercise.
Here’s a brief look at their respective roles.
They are the main nutrients that provide your body with optimum energy for performance. Therefore, putting some carbohydrates into your pre-workout meal will provide you the fuel to do a good workout.
What makes carbohydrates an ideal source of energy is the efficient way to use oxygen, as it uses less oxygen to burn each kilocalorie than protein or fat.
This is very important, especially if you are a bodybuilder, you need more oxygen for proper breathing.
How does your body use carbohydrates?
1- The glycogen stores in the liver and muscles depend mainly on the amount of carbohydrates in your body.
2- Your body converts glycogen into glucose (a type of sugar), which your muscles use as the principal source of fuel during exercise.
This means that your ability to exercise is limited by the amount of glucose in the body.
3- After about 90 minutes of exercise, if the glycogen supply in your body is completely depleted, you risk “muscle fatigue”, or feeling sluggish during the exercise.
4- If your body does not have enough glycogen to provide energy, it will start burning Fats for energy, but the problem is that Fats burn at a much slower rate than carbohydrates, which will slow down the intensity of training.
There are two types of carbohydrates, and each type has a unique effect:
Simple Carbohydrates: These are sugars that provide a quick boost in energy. White bread is a common source of these carbohydrates.
Complex Carbohydrates: These include fiber or starch. They provide a slower and more energy source in the long run. Whole-grain foods are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates.
What Kind of Carbohydrates Are Best in a Pre-Workout Meal?
Each has a role, but complex carbohydrates are better as they provide a greater source of energy in the long run, and they have lower glycemic index scores than those containing simple carbohydrates, thus reducing the risk of developing a disease like diabetes.
Simple carbohydrates are short-term sources of energy. If the pre-workout meal includes a lot of simple carbohydrates, a person may feel a drop in energy before completing the exercise.
To increase energy before a workout, consume complex carbohydrates 2-3 hours before, and any simple carbs 30 to 60 minutes before.
Here are some examples of healthy foods that contain complex carbohydrates:
1. Sweet potatoes:
Any type of potato that still keeps its skin is a rich source of fiber and carbohydrates.
In addition, sweet potatoes contain a high content of colored carotenoids, as they are an important source of vitamin C, proteins and potassium.
Is a vegetable that is eaten fresh or cooked.
One cup of raw beetroot contains 13 grams of carbohydrates, and beetroot is rich in potassium, vitamin A, folate, calcium, and inorganic nitrates good for heart health.
One hundred grams of corn contains 25 grams of carbohydrates and 3.36 grams of protein.
Also provides the body with good amounts of vitamin C, and one study showed that corn is beneficial for blood sugar levels and high blood pressure.
The medium-sized banana contains 26.95 grams of carbohydrates, and also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium, which are good for heart health and reduce blood pressure.
5. Brown rice:
Is a healthy alternative to white rice.
As one cup of cooked whole rice contains 36 grams of carbohydrates and contains high amounts of antioxidants.
They are one of the most beneficial types of whole grains for health, and they are characterized by its various uses, and one cup of rolled oats contains 27 grams of carbohydrates.
Besides five grams of protein and four grams of fiber, and research has shown its benefits Heart and blood vessel health.
It’s a sweet tropical fruit, and one cup contains 24.72 grams of carbohydrates.
Fruits provide the best sources of simple carbohydrates before a workout. Bananas are a popular choice as they contain potassium and simple carbohydrates.
Has an important role in a pre-workout meal.
Several studies have documented the importance of consuming protein before exercise in improving athletic performance.
One Study showed a positive anabolic response after participants consumed 20 grams of protein before exercise.
To Read: Importance of Sleep for body health
The importance of protein in a pre-workout meal
1. Protein can increase the amount of muscle mass gained from exercise :
Severe bouts of resistance damage the muscles, but protein consumption increases the number of amino acids in the body. These acids limit damage, synthesize muscle proteins, and stimulate growth.
2. Consuming 20 to 30 grams of protein before exercise can increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis that lasts for several hours.
3. Speed up the recovery process muscle :
To repair muscle damage, your body needs protein, which is made of amino acids, to build muscle.
An adequate supply of protein will help your muscles recover from fatigue during exercise, especially if you do weight training exercises.
Including some protein in a pre-workout meal helps reduce post-workout muscle soreness and speed up muscle repair.
“Note that although protein is slow to burn, you benefit from the advantages of speedy recovery and stimulation of growth.”
Foods rich in protein
Here are some examples of healthy foods rich in protein:
1. Fish, such as salmon and tuna
- Usually, nutritionists recommend eating tuna, which is beneficial for the body, which is compatible with diets to give the body significant benefit with few calories.
- And a cup of tuna contains about 39 grams of protein, and 179 calories if you choose the oil-free type.
- There is also a large proportion of protein in salmon, as 100 grams of it contains 25 grams of protein.
Whether white beans or black beans, they both contain a close proportion of protein, which is about 7 grams per cup, and beans are rich in dietary fiber important to the health of the body.
And containing folic acid, potassium, and vitamin B6.
One of the most important foods that contain a large proportion of protein, as one boiled cup is rich in 18 grams of protein, but we recommend it to eat the organic type of it.
We should note it that 155 grams of soybeans contains the following key nutrients as well:
- 188 calories.
- 18.46 grams of protein.
- 8.06 grams of fat.
- 8.1 grams of dietary fiber.
- 13.81 grams of carbohydrates.
- 3.52 mg of iron.
A cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein, and the fat in it is low, which makes it a very useful and healthy food.
Among the advantages of lentils is that it helps reduce cholesterol in the blood, thus reducing the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
It is a healthy food for the growth of the body and bones, and we recommend it that children eat it regularly, and each egg contains 6 grams of protein and 78 calories.
Eating eggs has many necessary health benefits.
Nuts are also one foodstuff that have many benefits for health, especially for the heart, and for the proportion of protein in nuts, they increase in almonds, and we estimate it at 3 grams of protein in 15 grams of almonds.
7. Dairy products
It is preferable to choose low-fat ones, whether yogurt, milk or cottage cheese, to be a healthy and useful meal at the same time.
A box of skimmed yogurt contains 6 grams of protein and 24 calories, and the same amount of yogurt contains 15 grams of protein and 60 calories, and a cup of cow’s milk “about 200 ml” and without fat is rich in 8 grams of protein with 32 calories.
Cottage cheese is a low-fat dairy product. Half a cup of cottage cheese contains 13 grams of protein and 52 calories.
The importance of healthy fats in a pre-workout meal
Many people try to limit the amount of fats in their diet, but cutting it out completely can hinder athletic performance.
Healthy fats provide energy to the body. If your exercise usually lasts for more than an hour, your body uses the fats for energy after it depletes your glucose stores.
- Whereas, carbohydrates help maximize glycogen stores for a high-intensity workout.
- However, healthy fats also play a role, as the fats help fuel your body for longer, less intense workouts.
So healthy fats are more suitable if your training period is more than an hour, or for long-distance runners and swimmers as shown in this Study.
It showed how a four-week diet comprising 40% fat increased endurance times in a group of runners.
Examples of some healthy fats:
Is a fruit rich in beneficial nutrients, as it is rich in monounsaturated fats, which helps reduce harmful cholesterol in the body.
Avocado has a delicious taste, especially when you add it to salads, eggs, or drink it as a smoothie.
Almonds are rich in vitamins like vitamin E and minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium, and they are rich in monounsaturated fats beneficial for the body and that aid in weight loss.
3. Olive oil:
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat beneficial to the body, and is characterized by ease of digestion, and its ability to raise “positive cholesterol” beneficial to the body.
It can always use it on salads or added directly to dishes.
We cannot mention olive oil without referring to olives, as it is one of everyone’s favorite foods that contain a high percentage of fat.
Just like olive oil, contain oleic acid, and a variety of polyphenols, which reduce inflammation in the body and promote heart and brain health.
Olives are also an important source of beneficial fiber, as they contain 99.19 grams of fiber, which is equivalent to about 13% of the recommended daily intake.
For egg yolk lovers, it’s time to eat the yolk and discard the whites.
Egg yolks contain 100% of fats rich in vitamins A, D, E and K, and calcium, iron, zinc, biotin, thiamin, folate, and vitamins B6 and 12.
Recent studies have shown that white has the same effect as starches on insulin and blood sugar, because of the absence of beneficial fats that the yolk contains.
Salmon is one of the best and richest types of fish, with nutrients and fat beneficial to the body.
And for those who dislike the smell of fish, eating salmon, whether smoked or grilled, gives it a delicious and delicious flavor.
You can also add smoked salmon to salads or an egg omelette in the morning.
7. Dark chocolate:
Are you looking for healthy non-fruity desserts?
There is nothing better than dark chocolate, which often contains monounsaturated and saturated fats, and is rich in antioxidants “flavanols” that may help lower blood pressure and improve brain function, provided you choose the right kind.
The best option is dark chocolate that contains at least 70% to 80% cocoa.
8. Flax oil:
It is one of the oils saturated with “omega-3” very beneficial to the body, and you can use it by putting it on salads or oatmeal dishes in the morning.
9. Parmesan cheese:
You wouldn’t think of cheese as a healthy food, but Parmesan cheese (the kind that sells in large blocks) is high in saturated and unsaturated fats.
Parmesan cheese is rich in calcium, containing 31% of the recommended daily amount of 28.34 grams, along with a reasonable amount of vitamin B12.
However, unlike many other dairy products, it is very low in lactose, so that people with lactose intolerance can tolerate it.
In addition, Parmesan cheese contains an enormous amount of protein, consuming 311.74 grams of it.
The funny thing is that those crackers you bite into while eating excellent quality Parmesan cheese are small parts of the amino acid, tyrosine, which plays an important role in the production of neurotransmitters.
The hormone norepinephrine, and the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Hence, it helps improve mood and emotional response.
When to eat a pre-workout meal?
Ideally, a person should eat a meal rich in complex carbohydrates and protein about 2 to 3 hours before exercising.
Waiting a few hours after eating allows your body enough time to digest a meal. Alternatively, a person may prefer a smaller meal consisting mostly of simple carbohydrates. Here, you only need to wait 30 to 60 minutes before exercising.
A pre-workout meal matters in the success of your training session, but monitor the amount of calories and ensure their quality by following the best diet according to your goals.
To achieve maximum performance, it is important to replenish your body with the correct nutrients before a workout.
Carbohydrates help increase your body’s ability to use glycogen to fuel short and high-intensity workouts, while fats help fuel your body for longer workout sessions.
Eating protein helps improve muscle protein synthesis, prevent muscle damage, and promote recovery.
We can eat Pre-workout meals three hours to 30 minutes before exercise. However, choose foods easy to digest, especially if your workout starts in an hour or less. This will help you avoid stomach discomfort.