The best Pre workout intake is a snack that you take before your workout. It is the second most important meal of the day, complemented by post-workout snack. The purpose of this meal is to prepare your body for muscle damages to come, as well as to ensure a good level of energy throughout your workout.
Unlike a post workout meal, you must consume low glycemic index carbohydrates before your workout (Complex carbohydrates). Pre-workout Complex carbohydrates help ensure a sufficient energy level for the entire workout. Not consuming them before the workout may limit your efforts. Oatmeal, bananas (green) or whole meal bread are foods rich in complex carbohydrates suitable for pre-workout.
Muscle Catabolism does not occur only at night but also during the workout. Therefore, it is important to eat protein tablets before the workout to limit the damage. These proteins are going to put the body in anabolic conditions at the beginning of your workout and start your recovery faster. As in post workout, the protein ingested before the workout can be consumed as dietary supplements.
Before the workout, should you eat slow or fast absorbing protein? It is best to mix the two. For dietary supplements enthusiasts, a mixture of whey protein 40g and 350ml of skimmed milk is perfect. Consume slow absorbing proteins in addition to fast absorbing ones will slow the absorption of the mixture, ensuring a constant protein intake. The whey is ideal for a pre-workout meal because it is a supplement naturally rich in BCAA: Three amino acids that fight effectively against catabolism.
Pre-workout meal: timing and quantity.
Your pre-workout snack and your workout should be spaced 1 hour to 1:30 apart to leave enough time for the body to digest and assimilate all the nutrients. Whey protein is very fast to assimilate; you can eat it 50 minutes before the workout.
Concerning the amounts of protein and carbohydrates to consume, this can vary depending on your workout. If you’re about to do an intense workout (weight gain or maximal strength), consume 20g of protein and 40 grams of complex carbohydrates. These quantities are sufficient to ensure energy expenditure and to counter the catabolism of the targeted muscles. But if you’re about to do a cardio workout which aims to lose weight, eat only 20g of protein. Not consuming carbohydrates will force your body to tap into your glycogen stores and fat reserves.
As for carbohydrates, the banana is a high energy fruit but be careful because its sugar intake varies according to maturity: a very ripe banana will provide you with simple sugar while a slightly green banana will give you more of carbohydrates.
Simple sugars right before the workout:
You can also eat simple sugars 25 minutes before your workout to provide a dose of instant energy to your body. Fruit juices or whole fruits are a good source of simple sugar (orange, grape). Moreover, orange juice contains potassium which improves muscle contraction and definition.
Do not eat too much fast sugar before the workout because it can become counterproductive. Simple sugars are instantly broken down by your body and arrive quickly into your blood. Your blood sugar rises sharply and therefore your insulin levels too. The problem of the insulin spike is that it always causes a feeling of fatigue and weakness that will disrupt your workout (reactive hypoglycemia).
Glucose VS fructose:
Simple sugars found in fruits are named fructose. For the most perfectionists, you should know that this type of sugar must first pass through the liver before being converted into glucose (or glycogen).
The only directly assimilated simple sugar is glucose (ideal before and after workout), but few foods contain it in its pure form. If you are looking for a source of glucose, then prefer dextrose (glucose supplement for athletes).
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