Pre-Workout Nutrition: 4 Keys to Get the Most Out of Your Training

Nutrition plays a vital role in the progress of our exercise efforts. The food we eat directly affects our performance as well as our intensity and ability to move forward smoothly. In order to obtain better results, we should be particular about our nutrition, particularly the meal we consume before our workout. Providing our body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will give it the energy and strength required to perform optimally. Keep the following points in mind to help you gain the desired, effective results in Pre-Workout Nutrition: 4 Keys to Get the Most Out of Your Training!

1. Carbs

Muscles use glucose for fuel. Glucose is the simplest form of sugar that is produced in the body when carbohydrates are broken down. Our body stores glucose in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. So, during moderate to high-demand exercise (ie., cardio or HIIT routines) these stores become the main source of energy for the body. Therefore consuming a sufficient amount of carbs before any type of workout routine will ensure that the muscles have enough fuel to perform properly and for extended periods without getting exhausted.

2. Protein

We all know that intaking protein after training helps with muscle repair, growth and regeneration. But there are benefits of eating protein before exercising as well. Having protein before a workout has been proven to increase muscle protein synthesis (as per a study conducted in 2001) for several hours. This process in turn results in improved muscle recovery, as well as increased strength and lean body mass. Our muscular performance and growth will also improve. Thus, eating protein before a workout as well will ensure better and enhanced results, as compared to having protein only after workout.

3. Fat

Contrary to popular thinking, consumption of 44-78 grams of fat per day is essential for bodily health and function. They are an essential energy source, fat works as a fuel for longer bouts of endurance and moderate to low intensity exercise. Fat might not be as important as carbs or protein as a pre-workout meal, but the intake of fat provides our muscles with an extra backup energy source for training.

4. Timing

This might be the most important aspect of a pre-workout meal, if the timing of our meal is wrong then we might not receive all the benefits. If we are having a heavy meal (rich in complex carbohydrates, protein and fat), then we need to give our body 2-3 hours to digest it before starting any exercise. If there is shortage of time, a smaller meal comprising of simple carbs and protein, consumed 30-45 minutes prior to a workout will also be found helpful. Don’t forget to drink ample water to stay hydrated which helps your overall physical performance. 

Eating before a workout helps maintain your blood sugar level and also reduces the risk of getting light-headed, while training. Every body of course is different, for best pre-workout nutrition you also must find out what works best for your body. If carbs work better than protein for you, then increase carbs and reduce protein accordingly. Customise your meals as per your requirements, experiment with flavours and relish a good pre-workout meal confident in the knowing that you’ll have plenty of reserve energy in the bank just when you need it the most!

What pre-workout foods work best for you? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter Instagram

Riya Moitra

Riya's weight training is her passion. She trains heavy because it makes her feel empowered, confident and positive. Training helps her stay motivated, improving her mental and emotional well-being as well as giving her the courage to keep moving forward. She aims to promote the benefits of strength training for women as it has completely changed her life for the better. She sees it as an act of self-care, and every woman deserves this care.

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