While we have previously covered the importance of the post-workout meal, the pre-workout meal is just as important. What a person eats before exercising can have a profound impact on the quality of the workout that day. While many people still believe training on an empty stomach may be a good idea, you may not have an adequate energy store, which will cause your body to burn through muscle tissue for energy during your workout. The pre-workout meal also enhances the production of amino acids which makes for better blood flow and can prevent muscle break down.
The pre-workout meal should be eaten an hour to an hour and a half beforehand.It is recommended that it is a light meal and nothing that will make you feel sluggish, so a pound of steak probably isn’t ideal before training. A small turkey sandwich on wheat bead or piece of salmon with salad are good examples for a meal. This should satisfy your hunger and stay in your body long enough to help with your workout.
During your workout you want a steady stream of energy to last throughout the whole session rather than a quick burst in the beginning. This means you should watch out for food or drinks with a lot of caffeine or sugar, which can also ruin your concentration during weight or resistance training. Protein is the basis for a good meal but for some people actual food may weigh them down or it just isn’t idealto carry around a meal with them. For these people a meal replacement drink is recommended and if made with skim milk can help slow the release of the protein for a nice steady stream of energy. Along with protein, simple carbs like brown rice, oatmeal, or wheat bread and pasta also have this effect and works very well.
If neither a meal or meal replacement shake cannot be prepared there are snack bars available that also help if taken just before working out or on the way to the gym. In addition, snacks like an apple, yogurt, or some trail mix can help for some energy just before training. These snacks are also work to optimize your performance in addition to a good pre-workout meal.