Extra attention is being paid of late to the benefits of a decent pre-workout meal, and this is why you should care.
There is much hype around what people call the ‘anabolic window.’ That seems like the perfect time, after your workout, to eat pretty much whatever your heart desires, right? Wrong.
But let’s not get back into that. We covered it in great detail a few issues back. The focus now lies on whether you have your pre-workout nutrition bases covered. Just like with everything else in life, people have different ideas of how this should be done, and while they may not be wrong, their ideas might not necessarily work for you as an individual.
Briefly going back to our post-workout discussion, many people find that they could not stomach the idea of food after working out, and that’s why a protein shake of sorts, or a recovery drink was suggested. Similarly, pre-workout nutrition is as important as post-workout.
The challenge to get something down the hatch is a problem that many early morning trainers have. Most of the time, people roll out of bed, splash some water on their face, and hit the gym before they wake up properly—because otherwise they just can’t bring themselves to go at any other point of the day.
One of the obvious ideas behind training is fat loss, and even though you may think that skipping a pre-workout meal may save you some calories to burn off, rather don’t. Training on an empty stomach can result in low blood sugar, which means you may land up staring at the ceiling when you faint.
If you fuel your fire the right way you will work harder—the key being the right way. Don’t think that you can pig out on bad food because you will be working it off—it will actually just have a negative effect on you and your training.
For those who don’t do too well with full meals, we have these suggestions:
Try a banana. They’re packed with carbs (the good kind) and potassium, which is a vital part of muscle and nerve functioning. You can also try a piece of wholegrain bread—toast it if you will.
This gives you a great basis for topping it with honey (extra carbs) or eggs for protein. I agree with their next
suggestion—it’s a personal favourite of mine—fruit and yoghurt, it’s light and fresh.
The fruit has the required carbs and Greek yoghurt in particular is packed with protein.
It’s all good and well to know what to eat, but the next question is when? Depending on the meal size, anywhere between 30-60 minutes before your workout is a good time frame to work with and the benefits of doing this are vast. You can increase your muscle growth by having a protein-based meal, as essential amino acids will be released throughout your workout. This meal also ensures that you protect the muscles that you are working so hard for. The most obvious benefit of all of this is that you will have more energy during your workout, as that sudden release will be in your favour.
Coming back to people who feel that they train better on an empty stomach, it’s time to rewire the way you think. Science has proven that you risk losing the muscle that you have worked so hard for, as well as from a health perspective, the dizziness and fatigue could become a real problem. Start off small, and build up a tolerance for food or even just protein shakes, and you can be rest assured that the juice is worth the squeeze.