Pre workout nutrition: Essentials you must eat before working out for better results!

Updated on Sep 07, 2021 08:48 PM IST  |  87.1K
Pre workout nutrition: Essentials you must eat before working out for better results!

All the fitness enthusiasts in the house will relate - working out is just never enough to achieve the results you want! Knowing what to eat is just as important as following the right workout regimen and perfecting exercises. 

Good nutrition can help enhance your performance, help your body recover faster and minimise muscle damage after each workout. However, something that a lot of people tend to miss out on and overlook is the fact that fueling your body with the right nutrients prior to working out is essential too! This will provide the energy and strength you need to push yourself harder and perform better. 

Essential macronutrients 

Each macronutrient plays a specific role before a workout, and their intake varies for every individual, based on BMI, routine, etc. Here are some you must know about -

1. Carbs. Your muscles and liver process and utilise glucose as glycogen from carbohydrates to fuel up. For short and high-intensity workout routines, this is the main source of energy, which can be depleted quickly and your output diminishes. This is why carb intake is important prior to exercising. 

2. Protein. Numerous studies have proven that adequate protein consumption before working out significantly enhances performance. It increases muscle protein synthesis which stimulates muscle growth, improves muscle recovery, and increases strength and lean body mass.

3. Fats. While glycogen is the source of energy for high-intensity bouts of exercise, fats in the form of lipids are utilised during longer and moderate-to-low intensity workouts. Hence, consuming healthy, light lipids pre-workout will increase your endurance, and help achieve results more efficiently!

What to eat and when

To maximise results, timing really is the key. Experts suggest getting a full, balanced meal 2-3 hours before working out. However, in most cases we don’t have that kind of time. For meals eaten closer to working out, no less than 45 minutes, choose simpler carbs and proteins that are easy to digest to prevent stomach discomfort while exercising. Here are some great options for pre-workout meals -

If your workout starts in 2-3 hours

- Sandwich on whole grain bread, lean protein, salad

- Whole grain cereal and milk

- Oatmeal with banana and almonds

- Protein smoothie

If your workout starts in less than an hour

- Fruits and greek yogurt 

- Fruit salad with apple, banana, orange

- Protein nutrition bar with rich nut and fiber

Also Read | At-home fitness: 8 Essentials you need for a gym-like workout regimen at home!