If you're planning to hit the gym, it is very important to monitor what you eat before your workout. The body needs fuel in order to perform to its full capacity to achieve your desired body goals.
We often hear of people working out on an empty stomach, hoping they would be able get rid of accumulated fat and in turn lose weight. However, experts have warned of the negative consequences associated with this. You may feel hungry in the middle of your exercise, leading to exhaustion and a lower intensity workout than what you intended.
On the other hand, you don't want your stomach to be too full, this may again interfere with the workout and make you feel sluggish, hindering you from giving in your best. So experts recommend choosing a middle ground.
While it depends on the kind of workout you do, a pre workout meal must comprise of a mix carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbs will give you that energy to glide through the exercise regimen while protein will build and repair muscles. But while choosing carbs, go in for complex carbohydrates that give energy gradually over a longer period of time. While choosing fats, go in for healthy, unsaturated ones.
Here's a list of the foods you can eat, based on the macro-nutrients
If you're looking for complex carbs, go in for things like lentils, beans, oats, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and broccoli. Whole grain bread or whole grain pasta also makes for a good choice. If you're looking for simple carbs, fruits make the cut. Bananas are are a great choice, they're a good source of potassium and antioxidants too.
You have to be cautious when it comes to choosing the right kind of fats. The body takes time to digest fats when compared to carbohydrates and may not be able to break them down before a workout. Some good fats can be found in nuts, seeds and avocados.
Protein-rich foods that make a good pre-workout snack include eggs, lean fish like tuna and salmon, chicken, nuts, peanut butter, protein rich yoghurt and soy. If building muscle is your goal, make sure you include adequate protein in your diet.
Overall, a good balanced meal with all the required nutrients is a must! The closer you are to the time of the workout, the meals must be easy to digest and simpler in a bid to avoid tummy troubles. Also remember, hydration is key. Staying hydrated has been linked to better performance so consume a good amount of water. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests drinking 0.5 to 0.6 litres of water at least 4 hours before working out. Some experts even recommend drinking beverages rich in sodium as it may help the body retain fluids.
So if you're looking to ace your workout, watch what you eat!