A question I get asked quite often is: what should I eat before training? Followed by a look of keen inquisitiveness as if I am about to release the greatest secret known to man. I’m sorry to tell you, but the answer isn’t that complicated at all; which is a good thing!
Think of it like this, you wouldn’t plan a drive across a desert with no fuel in your tank, would you? This is the exact mindset to have when thinking about workout preparation.
1️⃣The first source of fuel for the body is both carbohydrates & glycogen (a polysaccharide stored in the muscles and liver which can be released as energy when needed). Carbohydrates are the easiest of the 3 macronutrients to break down, & therefore are the primary choice for energy when the body is in need.
2️⃣To create the perfect anabolic environment for the muscles to undergo protein synthesis, you need… protein! By eating enough protein before training, you not only provide your muscles with the necessary amino acids for growth, but you also prevent nasty muscle catabolism.
3️⃣Avoid fatty foods around the time of training. Despite providing the most energy of the 3 macronutrients (9 Calories per gram), fat is the slowest macronutrient to break down. Eating a fatty meal before training can leave you feeling rather sluggish & nobody needs that.
🍜Your goal? 2 – 3 hours before training load your body with a healthy combination of complex carbs (Low GI foods – oatmeal, wholegrain bread, brown rice, or multigrain cereal) & lean protein (fish, tofu, chicken, or whey protein powder).
🍌Then, 30 minutes before training get some simple carbs (Higher GI foods – bananas, raisins, or mangoes) for that glucose boost necessary when kick-starting your workout.