Are you a fitness freak or just joined a gym membership and confused about what to consume as a pre workout meal? Or Are you struggling to lose weight or gain muscle and unable to perform your workouts efficiently?
No matter whatever the situation is, whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, whether you are working out in the gym or at home during the lockdown in a current pandemic. Eating before workouts and consuming your pre workout snack are equally important.
Experts suggest increasing your performance during your workouts or exercise sessions role of a Pre workout meal is of utmost importance. Not only this but to make your workouts energetic and perform exercises with enthusiasm you must eat well before a workout.
Whenever there is a talk on pre-workout snacks or meals, there are many supplements also available in the market that provide ease from making and preparing the pre-workout meal.
In either way whether in the form of supplements or wholesome food the importance of pre workout meals is unnegotiable.
Let’s discuss it in detail.
The Pre Workout Meal
The pre-workout meal should comprise a simple meal that must be easily digestible and contain simple foods instead of a complex one. The purpose of a pre-workout snack is to energize any form of activity you are doing in the form of exercise or workout.
Pre Workout Meal Timing
The window for taking your pre workout meal totally depends on your metabolism. If you have slower metabolism even simple food will take longer than usual to digest and if your metabolism is fast you will take lesser.
The science of the pre-workout meal timing depends on how heavy you want to take your meal and how much time you are having before going on exercise. If you want to consume a large meal with complex carbs and fats the pre-workout meal timing should be 2 to 3 hours before your workout session.
If you can do fine with smaller meals based on lean protein and simple sugars or carbohydrates. The pre-workout meal timing can be as low as 30 to 40 minutes before a workout session.
In my opinion, a window of 35 to 45 minutes is decent enough for almost everyone to get your body and muscle prepared and fueled up for the upcoming workout session.
Learn more about the pre workout meal timings here.
Who Should Take A Pre Workout Snack
Everybody who exercises should take something as a pre-workout snack. Recommended calories for a before workout meal are somewhere between 350-650 calories consumed between 40 to 60 minutes before your training session.
Despite your fitness goal snack before exercise will benefit you in one way or another. So, what you should have or should not have in your before exercise meal.
ESSENTIAL MUST-HAVES AS PRE-WORKOUT
Here is a to-do list for your pre-workout meal.
Slow to Moderate Digesting Carbohydrates
There is a huge role of carbohydrates on your exercise outcome. You must have Simple carbs and sugars options included in this meal as they are easily digestible and consumed as a whole in the form of fuel during the exercise sessions. They give the energy and you can work out up to your maximum potential.
- Greek yogurt
- Vegetable juices
- Low-fat smoothie
- Skim milk
- Boiled white rice
Another must-have is lean protein. It will pump up your muscle and get them prepared for the upcoming challenge. Lean protein to give your muscles an extra boost and support your performance. Options include
- Egg whites
- Lean chicken breast
- Fat-free fish
Note: The options I am suggesting for carbohydrates and proteins are based on a pre-workout meal consumed within the 35-45 mins before exercise.
You can mix and match the options and make the pre workout meal of your choice. But it must contain both proteins and carbohydrates.
Caffeine works directly on your brain by increasing its excitability and recruitment. Meanwhile, it lowers the brain’s perception of fatigue and pain. Thus, improve muscle and physical performance by delaying the level of fatigue.
Caffeine is said to improve all athletes, weight lifters, sprinters, and overall having a positive outcome of workout for anyone. Coffee contains caffeine and I have already discussed earlier the health benefits of coffee.
How much do you consume and when
You should always drink coffee in water 20 minutes before going to exercise. There must not be any sugar, milk, creamers, fat added to your coffee.
The best liquid on earth is water. Earth is 34 water and 1 3rd land. Your body is more than 70% composed of water. Nature has given water a lot of importance in our life for a reason. Water is fuel to our bodies. It helps in regulating the electrolytes and the mechanisms inside our bodies.
It will replenish the body before a workout and water loss during exercise and helps you going easy during the whole exercise session.
Drink at least 500ml water before your workout and 500ml water during your workouts in the form of sips.
DON’T TAKE THESE AS YOUR PRE-WORKOUT SNACK
- Complex carbs
- Fiber-rich foods
- Slow digesting proteins
The Best Pre Workout Meal – Watch In Video
Best Pre Workout Meal As per Your Goal
The recommendations are to take carbohydrates since carbohydrates are the primary source of pre-workout calories, they are generally solid and should be consumed at a level of 0.25-0.4 grams per pound.
The pre workout meals I have discussed earlier are for everyone, whether you talk about weight loss or weight gain. Only you have to take care of your calories. As for weight loss, you are in a calorie deficient state and for weight gain, you have to consume more calories.
Just strict the portions of your pre workout meal as per your fitness goals and you are good to go.
The Bottom Line
Pre-workout meals are a must to have regardless of your fitness goals for the maximum gains or losses. The best and effective pre workout meal is the one that contains both slow to moderate releasing carbohydrates and fast releasing proteins. You should also consume water and black coffee before the exercise.
You can consume supplements as your pre-workout drink but nothing can replace the whole food options.
Also, read 10 health and fitness tips & a 1200 calorie diet plan.
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