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what to eat before workout

Pre-workout nutrition is one of those areas where people like to lose themselves in trifles. They are obsessed with what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Instead of just going to the gym or going out into the world to be active and lift something heavy, they read blogs and watch videos for weeks, searching for one pre-workout meal to rule them all. They avoid the gym altogether because they can’t figure out the “best” pre-workout food, or whether or not they should be eating something.

Even when it comes to what you should eat before a workout, you can go too far. You know the type of guy. This is the man who travels with a suitcase full of powder, bullets and canned foods. He is so attached to the pre-workout ritual that he cannot skip a day even on vacation. He can’t function in the gym if he doesn’t get his 40.5 grams of Waxy Maize, 30.2 grams of Whey Isolate, and a blend of superfoods before his workout. He breaks down without the right, most optimal pre-workout nutrition.

Don’t be like that Let me tell you what to do so that you can stop stressing about what to eat before a workout. Let’s make things simple.

General rules for pre-workout meals

What you eat will depend on the type of exercise you’re doing, your goals, and the type of diet you’re already following, but there are some general rules that apply to everyone.

  • Keep things light. No heavy meals. If you eat too much, you may have trouble digesting it, or some of the energy that would otherwise go to your muscles will go to your gut.
  • Eat foods that you know you can easily digest. No wonder.
  • Salt your food. Sodium is a huge boon for exercise performance, especially if you’re on the lower-carb side of things.
  • Powder is fine. While whole foods are usually ideal, for quick pre-workout nutrition, protein and carbohydrate powders can be very helpful and beneficial.
  • Include 15–20 grams of collagen and 50–100 mg of vitamin C. This is a great way to improve connective tissue health when taken pre-workout.
  • Protein and carbs are more important, dietary fat less important pre-workout. If all goes well, you would be eating the fat stored on your body.
  • Oh, and you don’t have to eat anything you can fast (this is what I usually do). It’s just that the purpose of this article is to help those who are interested in pre-workout nutrition.

what to eat before high intensity interval workout

Because running, cycling, and rowing sprints and intervals burn through a ton of glycogen, most traditional sources recommend adequate carbohydrates before a workout — about 4 grams per pound of body weight in the hours leading up to the session. They are not “wrong”.

If you are a serious high-intensity athlete training to compete or perform at a very high level, you should be eating a good amount of carbs prior to your training sessions. That will maximize force production and optimize post-training adaptations.

And besides, you’re burning through your muscle glycogen, boosting insulin sensitivity and opening up a ton of room for the breakdown of dietary carbohydrates.

If you train hard and intensely, you can eat a large carb-rich pre-workout meal and still reach ketosis after a single session.

Unless you’re going for a specific goal and absolutely must avoid all carbohydrates, I recommend that everyone who wants to eat before a HIIT session eat 15-30 grams of protein along with 30 grams of protein 45 minutes before a workout. Consume fast-digesting carbs, half of which are collagen . If you want to have a little more carbs, have 40-60 grams two hours before or 15-30 45 minutes apart.

Again: You don’t need to eat before a sprint or HIIT. But if you eat, then this is what I recommend.

what to eat before low level aerobic workout

The kind of low-level aerobic training I recommend is starting endurance—where your heart rate never exceeds 180 minus your age, where you can breathe through your nose and carry on an easy conversation, where Seems easy enough to sustain for more than an hour, if you don’t need a lot of pre-workout nutrition.

If you’re metabolically-flexible or fat-adapted, I recommend fasting before these workouts to really burn fat and boost mitochondrial biogenesis. No need for food at all.

If you are more carbohydrate dependent, you can still get away with fasting, but you can also eat 15-20 grams of easily digestible carbohydrates and 20 grams of protein . This could be one scoop of whey isolate protein powder, some collagen peptides, and a small potato or an apple. It could be some eggs with a banana.

what to eat before a strength training workout

Since lifting can be a very glycogen-intensive activity, you can treat it in the same way as HIIT or sprints, with a greater focus on protein. If you’re going to eat before a lifting session, aim for 30-40 grams of protein (half from collagen) either from whey isolate or from real food plus collagen. Eat 15–30 grams of easily digestible carbohydrates , such as bananas, rice, potatoes, dates, or other fruits. You can also drink some coconut water.

Specific foods that can be helpful before a workout

There are specific foods with specific ergogenic effects. Which you should include in your pre-workout meal.

  • Beetroot : Improves endothelial function, increases “pump”, increases blood flow. high carb.
  • Pomegranate : Pomegranate extract taken 30 minutes before a workout has been shown to improve blood flow and increase blood vessel diameter. High carb, especially if you eat the seeds or drink the juice.
  • Coffee : Provides caffeine, which has been shown to improve exercise performance. Zero calories (unless you add milk and sugar).
  • Coconut water with added salt and blackstrap molasses : This is my go-to “electrolyte energy drink,” which provides potassium, carbohydrates, sodium, and magnesium. This is a great way to add some digestible carbs to your pre-workout meal along with excellent hydration.

what do i eat before a workout

I usually fast before workouts. It just works for me.

In fact, except on very rare occasions, I either workout fasted or take 20 grams of collagen beforehand. Since collagen does not directly contribute to muscle protein synthesis or affect mTOR or autophagy or fat burning, I consider these to be pretty much equivalent. The only thing I change between fasted training and pre-training collagen is the collagen plus 50-100mg of vitamin C which helps me strengthen my connective tissue.

Anything resembling low-level “cardio,” such as walking, hiking, standup paddling, and bike riding is all done fast.

Before heavy lifting or sprint sessions, I’ll drink 20 grams of collagen peptides with some vitamin C. It’s not there to “fuel” me. Collagen provides the raw material my connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage) needs to adapt to training stress and Vitamin C helps collagen get where it’s supposed to be – the connective tissue.

This drink doesn’t contain a lot of calories, nor does it stimulate a massive insulin response that takes away from the benefits of fasting. I’m technically breaking the fast because I’m cutting calories, but I’m retaining most of the gains.

I favor collagen on heavier or more intense days because at my age, I am most interested in maintaining the integrity of my joints. Having intact and durable ligaments, tendons and cartilage allows me to play and stay active as I age. It’s not the big muscles that, once achieved, are easy to maintain. This is connective tissue.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should eat before a workout, I’ve explained the potential benefits of fasted workouts before. In short, fasted workouts can:

  • increase insulin sensitivity
  • Increase biomarkers known to correlate with muscle hypertrophy
  • Improve lean mass retention in endurance athletes
  • Improve ability to perform without calories
  • help you burn more fat and potentially reduce inches off your waist

Keep in mind that fasted training is not optimal if your primary concern is gaining mass. It’s great for lean mass maintenance, fat burning, and even strength and muscle gain, provided you eat enough calories when you eat, but for pure muscle hypertrophy and weight gain and absolute performance, you need to eat more. are better

It’s probably smart to try both a pre-workout meal and pre-workout fasting to see what works best for you.

While there’s nothing wrong with eating real food or taking a protein/carb supplement before a workout, neither is there anything wrong with fasting. All that matters is what works for you – what helps you stay consistent with training, what gives you the best results, what makes training most enjoyable.

Use this article as a guide, but don’t let it decide for you. What do you eat before your workout?

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