Choosing the right foods to implement into your diet is essential for gains. For those of you looking to make major muscle gains and burn fat during your training session, your pre workout meal plan is essential on your quest to obtaining a better physique. Your body needs the right nutrients in order to see the benefits of a hard session in the gym. Most lifters love to talk about post-workout meals but forget the importance of pre-workout. -
Truth is, while a post workout meal is obviously important, a solid pre-workout meal actually delays how quickly you need to eat after training. Which means you don't need to rush to get your protein in or worry you'll lose all your gains because the nutrients from your pre-workout will still be digesting hours after you finish working out. Here are the details:
Carbohydrates, or to be more specific, slow digesting carbs are a great fuel source for any hard workout. Eating carbs before a training session is important to avoid muscle energy being used. Especially if you're doing more intense workouts with a lot of higher rep, metabolic work. 20-50g will be enough to fuel you for at least a 60 minute workout. Oatmeal, brown rice, and even whole wheat pasta are all great sources of energy for your pre workout meal.
Many studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance. Consuming protein alone or with carbs prior to exercise has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis.There’s no muscle growth to be had without protein synthesis and a great way of triggering and maintaining this muscle gaining state. To maintain an adequate anabolic state, a correct amount of amino acids must be ingested. Egg whites, chicken, turkey and protein shakes are all great sources to promote muscle gains.
One study showed a positive anabolic response after the ingestion of 20 grams of whey protein before exercise.
Other benefits of eating protein before exercise include:
A better anabolic response, or muscle growth.
Improved muscle recovery.
Increased strength and lean body mass.
Increased muscle performance.
The timing of your meal is also an important aspect of pre-exercise nutrition.
To maximize the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2–3 hours before you exercise.
However, in some cases you may not be able to get in a full meal 2-3 hours before working out.
In that case, then you can still eat a decent pre-workout meal. Just keep in mind that the sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal should be.
So if you eat 45–60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein.
This will help prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise.
Summary: It’s recommended to consume a full meal 2-3 hours before your workout. For meals eaten sooner before your workout, choose simpler carbs and some protein.
Caffeine has been shown to improve performance, increase strength and power, help reduce feelings of fatigue and stimulate fat burning.
Caffeine can be consumed in coffee, tea and energy drinks, but it can also be found in pre-workout supplements and pills.
It doesn’t really matter how you consume it, as its effects on performance are usually the same.
Caffeine’s peak effects are seen 90 minutes after consumption. However, it has been shown to be effective even when ingested 15–60 minutes prior to exercise.
Putting It All Together
To maximize your performance and recovery, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients before a workout.
Carbs help maximize your body’s ability to use glycogen to fuel short- and high-intensity exercises, while fat helps fuel your body for longer exercise sessions.
Eating protein helps improve muscle protein synthesis, prevent muscle damage and promote recovery.
Good hydration is also linked to enhanced performance.
Pre-workout meals can be consumed 2–3 hours and up to 30 minutes before workouts. However, choose foods that are easy to digest, especially if your workout starts in one hour or less. This will help you avoid any stomach discomfort.
Additionally, many different supplements can aid performance and promote recovery.
At the end of the day, simple pre-workout nutrition practices can go a long way in helping you perform better and recover faster.
Take these tips under consideration to make sure you’re properly fueled when you get into the gym and watch your muscles grow. Let us know what your favorite pre-workout meal is in the comments below and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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Essential Pre-Workout meal tips to max out muscle