The foundation of any effective exercise program is nutrition. The best meal plan is built around healthful ingredients like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats as well as adequate hydration. Expert eating plans are tailored to provide adequate calories and macronutrients based on lifestyle, training intensity and duration.
Pre-workout nutrition makes certain foods and their macronutrients in a meal plan work in your favor to support your efforts. But everybody is different…I personally almost always workout on an empty stomach. Does that make it the only way to go? Nope…You have to figure out what works best for you.
Here are some Guidelines:
The best pre-workout snack or meal should be high in complex carbohydrates with smaller amounts of protein and fat. This combination delivers sustained energy throughout the workout helping you excel in your training program. This macronutrient formula is not always simple to follow, as it is for the seasoned fitness professional. Often foods that may seem like a healthy and smart choice can prove disastrous to your efforts when consumed just before a workout.
Nonfat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit
Hardboiled eggs and wheat toast
Peanut butter and banana with whole grain crackers
Whole grain bagel with tomato and low-fat cheese
What do I use before a workout? Recently, Ive been using Energize the newest preworkout formula from Beachbody. Im fairly caffeine sensitive, so it kinda scared me at first. This, works for me. I prefer to cardio on an empty stomach, I will use Energize before lift sessions and evening cardio. (which are often followed by the lift, so it works well) Today I used it, in the am before my lift…I felt great and I was very focused for about 4 hours straight (major accomplishment) and no jitter! I have used other energy drinks & pre-workout drinks, and I got more than I was comfortable with. I would either hate the taste, the caffeine jolt was too much, the calories were to high or there was too much sugar.
Get more information here (ill go into to greater details in another blog)
While staying within your scope of practice when it comes to specific nutrition, I advise you to avoid certain foods, some of the worst things to eat before a workout: Avoid foods that may derail their workout such as high-fiber, high-fat and high-sugar options. Heres why…
HIGH FIBER FOODS = DIGESTION DIFFICULTY
In general, fiber as part of a healthy diet is a very good thing. Not only has it been shown to help with weight management, high-fiber foods have also been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and more. With that said, high-fiber foods have no place in your pre-workout meals. Foods such as vegetables, many fruits and even whole grains are more difficult for the body to digest. This can lead to discomfort during workouts as the body tries to multitask. Instead, suggest easily digestible fruit such as bananas or whole-grain products such as wheat toast and crackers as a pre-workout snack for essential energy-boosting carbohydrates without the discomfort.
HIGH-FAT FOODS = MISSING ENERGY Have you ever tried to workout after eating a high-fat meal? Chances are your workout felt especially long and tiring. Converting fats into energy is a much lengthier process than turning carbohydrates into energy. As a result, pre-workout meals and snacks high in fat tend to sit in the stomach resulting in lethargy or sluggishness as the body works to break down those fats. Good fats are a must for an effective nutrition program, but even those in high amounts before a workout are a bad strategy for readily available energy.
HIGH-SUGAR FOODS = DISAPPEARING ENERGY You can now find extensive options for grab and go pre-workout snacks. From smoothies to bars to shakes, these quick and easy options can seem like a simple choice for busy people. Often the dark side of these, (even many homemade pre-workout snacks) is high levels of sugar. This sweet little carbohydrate provides a quick rush of energy but is so quickly processed by the body that energy disappears, usually long before the workout ends. Be advised to look closely at labels to avoid high-sugar options that will send blood sugar and energy on a roller coaster ride.