If you’ve ever had a sweat session on an empty stomach, you know how light-headed you can get as soon as your heart rate starts to increase. But, on the other hand, if you’ve ever had food mere moments before your sweat session, you’ve probably experienced vigorous nausea. You should understand that there are two very opposite ends to the spectrum. And, know that it’s common to drink (shakes and water, of course) before a sweat session, the question remains: Should you take food before a workout session? If so, what’s the miracle time slot to do to avoid any stomach upset? So, here we present to you everything you need to know about Pre-workout Meals. And, whether should you have it or not.
So, let’s begin!
Do We Have To Eat Before a Workout?
Yes. If you have enough time to spend actually to read into the nitty-gritty of pre-workout consumption, check it out: whether or not you should eat before a workout depends on the time of day, type of workouts, and how your body responds to the type of food you plan to consume.
In most cases, yes, you should eat. But if you walk in the morning, you definitely will not require the same energy as you would if you were doing a High-Intensity Interval Training workout at noontime. That said, irrespective of the time of day, having a little, wholesome snack before workouts can give you a better chance of getting the most out of your exercises.
What Should Be The Time-Gap Between Pre-Workout Meal & Workout?
Remember: It’s all about timing. You don’t want to eat far in advance of an exercise, but you also don’t want to eat too close to its beginning. For that reason, eating between half an hour and three hours before an exercise routine, depending on what you’re consuming.
If it’s a lighter meal, you can take it closer to the beginning of your exercise, and if it’s a heavier one, you should have it further in advance. No matter what you consume, though, you should always give yourself at least 30 minutes between your last bite and the start of your sweat sesh for food to feel settled. If you eat and then decide to go for an exercise session seconds after, you might feel a little sick (cramping or nauseous).
What Nutrients To Look For In Pre-Workout Meals?
The secret to making pre-workout meals is to look for simple foods to digest and contain ample amounts of carbohydrates and small amounts of fat and protein without getting super calculated. While carbs are often speculated to be the culprit, that they’re actually the nutrient that gives us the most energy—particularly before an exercise session. As for protein, it’s worthwhile to take it before a workout, as well, because it helps repair and builds muscle while also supporting to keep you full.
What Food Options Do We Have For Pre-Workout Meals?
Bananas are mother nature’s nutrient bar: They’re powered with potassium, which helps with optimal nerve and muscle function, and simple carbs for fuel. Garnish it with a serving of peanut butter—or any other nut butter of your choice. (Just try to stick to the suggested two Tbsp serving size.) If you want a little sweetness, add some honey.
2. Toast With Peanut Butter
If you have enough time to spare before your workout, pop a toasted piece in the toaster and slather it with a tablespoon of peanut butter. You are getting a proper balance of the fiber (grains) and some nut butter protein.
3. High-Protein Oatmeal
If you’re always running out of time, whip up these almond-blueberry overnight oats. Chia seeds, almond butter, and oats majorly offer sustained energy for prolonged workouts.
This recipe also gets a protein punch due to protein powder (vanilla or unflavored) and plain Greek yogurt. One scoop of protein powder adds amino acids to help your muscles that are breaking down.
4. Protein Bars
These are a good choice if you are in a hurry. Always see for nutrition labels and look closely to ensure there’s only a single serving in the bar. Unless you’re a hardcore fitness enthusiast who’s about to burn loads of calories, avoid snacking on bars with over three hundred calories.
These pre-workout meals, selected by experts, are a good step towards the right mix of protein, carbs, and fat to ensure you feel strong throughout your entire sweat session. Aim to eat the snacks roughly 30 minutes before you start moving.
If you liked this article, check out another cool post on What Food To Eat To Prevent Acne.