An account of what should be eaten before exercising so that one gets the maximum benefits out of their workout.
What do you think, is the hardest part of doing exercises?
This is a very reasonable question yet with varied answers. For some, the most difficult is to get out of the bed and reach the gym on time, specially, if they follow a morning workout routine. For others, it’s the weight training exercises and few say, it’s the enthusiasm or rather the lack of it that abrupt their everyday exercising routine.
So, whatever reasoning you have about your tripping points , if you cherish exercising, you will find motivation to ensure that it continues to be a part of your everyday fitness routine. A very important constituent of an exercising routine is the diet. This not only includes your 3 meals of the day and the snacks but also what you put into your stomach right before heading to your gym, a brisk morning walk or a session of yoga.
The food/snacks taken before exercise are important because they serve as the source of energy one needs during exercising.
Hence, while deciding your pre-workout food intake, you should keep the following factors in mind:
- Whatever you eat before gym should have moderate Carbohydrates
- It must also have moderate Protein content
- The Fat content must either be Zero or it should be a Low Unsaturated Fat
- Your body must be well hydrated before and during the workout
- And Last but not the least… the body’s Sleep requirements must be met
Why Carbohydrates are Important ?
Carbs provide you the energy to sustain the workout, be it something short term like performing HIIT or engaging in an activity of more than 2 hours. Our body converts glycogen to glucose which serves as the primary source of energy. The glycogen present in liver and muscles depends on our carbohydrate intake.
However, things change when your aim is fat loss wherein it is not advisable to take carbs before exercising so that the body is forced to generate energy from the fats (fatty acids) and amino acids present in your body, a process called Gluconeogenesis.
This leads to a speedy fat loss but initially your body might show resistance to the process. So, in this case, for energy one can depend on proteins (10 to 12 gms) or caffeine like coffee or tea.
Why Proteins are Important ?
Right quantity of protein before workout is somewhere around 0.5 to 0.8 gms per pound of body weight.
Why Zero or Low Unsaturated Fat ?
Body takes time to digest fat. Hence, any saturated fats consumed before a workout will not provide you energy as they will not pass through your system fast enough and will sit on your stomach to give you stomach distress.
However small quantities of unsaturated fats can be taken like almonds, peanut butter with whole grain bread etc.
Why Body Hydration is Important ?
This is one factor that many people fail to take care of but is of equal importance. Liquids help in regulating body temperature, transport nutrients, lubricate joints etc. and thus, saving you from unwanted cramps, dizziness or even getting tired quickly.
Why Sleep is so Important Before Workout ?
A good sleep is essential because it relaxes and gives the body the time to recover from any wear and tear that happened the day before. It helps in recovering the energy, fluids and even repairing the tissues that broke from any kind of workout otherwise a stress is created in the body that can lead to other diseases.
Hence, make it a point that you take into consideration these factors before starting any fitness regimen so that you can get the desired results.
Happy Exercising !!!
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