As a sports enthusiast, you may always be looking for ways to improve your performance and achieve your goals. Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout. Find out in the following lines which diet to choose before exercising to be full of energy during the session.
Know that an optimal nutrient supply before exercise will not only help you improve your performance, but also reduce possible muscle damage. So knowing what and when to eat is vital. Providing your body with the right nutrients before exercising will give you the energy you need to perform better. Keep in mind that each macronutrient has a specific role for a workout.
Here’s Which Diet To Prefer Before Working Out
Keep in mind that your muscles use glucose from carbohydrates as fuel. The body stores glucose as glycogen in the liver and muscles. For short-term, high-intensity exercise, your glycogen stores are the main source of energy for your muscles. However, these reserves are limited and when they run out, your strength and energy decrease. Studies have shown that carbohydrates can increase glycogen stores and utilization.
Muscles use glucose from carbohydrates as fuel
Numerous studies have shown the important role of protein consumption before physical activity. Consuming this macronutrient before exercise has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis, promote muscle growth and repair, and increase strength.
It is very important to consume protein before physical activity
While glycogen is used for short-term, high-intensity exercise, lipids provide the fuel source for long-term, low- to medium-intensity activities. One study found that a 40% fat diet every four weeks increased the endurance of runners.
Diet before exercise: when to eat before exercise?
The timing of the meal also matters. For the best results from your training, try to eat a full meal of carbohydrates, proteins and fats 2-3 hours before your session. However, in some cases, you may not be able to eat a meal at this time. In this case, you can eat closer to the workout. However, keep in mind that the closer the session gets, the smaller and simpler the meal should be. So, if you eat 45-60 minutes before exercise, choose easily digestible food, which mainly contains carbohydrates and proteins. Keep in mind that the food and amounts to be eaten will depend on the type, duration and intensity of your workout. A good rule of thumb is to eat a meal that contains carbohydrates and proteins before exercise. If you eat a meal that contains lipids, it is better to wait at least a few hours before exercising.
Meal is important too
Food before exercise: how long before the session?
More than 2 hours before exercise
If your workout starts in 2-3 hours or more, you can have a sandwich with whole wheat bread, lean protein and a salad as a side. Or go for an egg omelet and whole wheat toast topped with avocado and served with a cup of fruit. Know that you can eat a meal consisting of brown rice, roasted vegetables, and lean proteins, such as chicken.
Sandwich made with whole wheat bread and lean proteins
Less than 2 hours before training
If your session starts in 2 hours, you can opt for a protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana and berries. Another option is an oatmeal cup topped with banana and slivered almonds or a sandwich with natural almond butter and candied fruit.
Protein smoothie made with milk and protein powder
Less than an hour for sports activity
If your workout starts in an hour or less, go for Greek yogurt and fruit or a healthy, nutritious bar. Keep in mind that you don’t need to eat multiple pre-workout meals. You just need to choose one of the above variants.
Bet on Greek yogurt and fruit
Remember that your body needs water to function. Proper hydration has been shown to maintain and even improve performance, while dehydration is associated with a significant drop in performance. Note that experts recommend drinking a drink containing sodium before exercise to help retain fluids.
Proper hydration helps maintain and even improve performance
Diet before exercise: what to eat to gain muscle?
To gain muscle mass, it is necessary to give preference to proteins, but do not forget to combine them with fruits and vegetables. Note that lean meats are an excellent source of protein, low in fat and rich in amino acids that promote muscle growth and recovery. If you don’t eat meat, you can get protein by eating eggs that contain vitamins D and B2 in addition to proteins and amino acids. Remember that your body needs sources of calcium such as yogurt, cheese and milk. Oily fish is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Consider consuming whole grains such as brown rice and bread to keep energy levels up throughout the day. Legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds are also good sources of protein. Consider including them in your diet.
To gain muscle mass, it is necessary to focus on proteins
What to eat before exercise to lose weight?
To lose weight, you just need to make small changes in your diet and lifestyle. Know that there are certain foods you can eat before and after your workout that can help you burn fat faster. These foods enhance the effect of sports and promote fat burning, muscle development and recovery. The best foods to eat before exercise to burn fat faster are:
- oat flakes
- fruit yogurt
- whole wheat toast
- Nuts and dried fruit
These foods promote fat burning
Eating before exercise to have energy
The foods you eat before and after a workout can affect not only your performance but your comfort as well. Eating the right foods at the right time can provide you with the resources your body needs. To be as efficient as possible, you need to adjust the foods you eat. This means focusing on high-quality carbohydrates that your body can convert to glucose for immediate energy, and whose stores are converted to glycogen for later use. After exercise, you need to replenish your glycogen stores to aid recovery and be ready for your next workout.
Eating before exercise to have energy
When and what to eat after exercise?
After training, your body needs to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle protein. Getting the right nutrients shortly after exercise can help your body get there faster. It is especially important to eat carbohydrates and proteins after your workout. It helps your body to:
- reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins
- increase muscle protein synthesis (growth)
- restore glycogen stores
- improve recovery
It is important to consume carbohydrates and proteins after training
When to eat after exercise
Keep in mind that it is recommended to consume a meal consisting of carbohydrates and proteins as soon as possible after exercise. Recent research has shown that the post-exercise period for maximizing muscle response to protein consumption is longer than previously thought, up to several hours.
What meal after a workout?
The main purpose of your post-workout meal is to provide your body with the right nutrients for proper recovery and to maximize the benefits of your workout. Choosing foods that are easy to digest promote faster absorption of nutrients. Here are the simple and easily digestible foods:
- Carbohydrates: sweet potatoes, quinoa and other grains, fruits (such as pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi), rice, oatmeal, potatoes, pasta, whole wheat bread.
- Proteins: protein powder of animal or vegetable origin, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, salmon, tuna, chicken, protein bar.
- Fats: avocado, nuts, nut butters, seeds.
Eating after training
Choose fruits before training
Make good food choices for better results
Nutrition before exercise
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