While it’s important to eat a nutritious meal before working out, often the timing itself plays a huge role in your workout performance and recovery. This was something that I pondered as there are occasions when I think that it’s a lot harder to lift my dumbbell on days I skipped a meal while it was easier the day before. Thus, I consulted Google for this and it has been said that there is an ideal timing to eat before exercising.
I’m almost certain at this point, the majority of individuals in the middle of the health journey have heard of pre-workout supplements and post-work out supplements. So why are there demands for these supplements?
Essentially, nutrition plays a significant role in aiding exercise performance and recovery and on the off chance that you can’t get it through food, individuals resort to quick supplements/drinks before they go to the gym. To ensure that your workout is more effective and productive, it is recommended to provide not just nutritious food but also providing your body the right combination of nutrients so that it generates the energy to perform and recuperate better.
The top 3 macronutrients that are accountable in your performance and recovery are protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Protein: stimulates muscle protein synthesis, which helps muscle development and recovery
Carbohydrates: provides your body with glucose, your muscle’s main source of energy during shorter workouts and high intensity exercise.
Fat: plays a role in providing fuel for longer, low to moderate intensity exercise
With that being said, another factor to ease the workout will be to time your pre-workout meal.
Your pre-workout meal ought to contain a balance of protein, carbs, and fat. The additional time you have before your workout should allow your body time to digest the nutrients and make them accessible for use during your workout.
It has been recommended that optimally, you should be eating 2–3 hours prior to a workout. A good examples of the meal that incorporates protein, carbs, and fat would be :-
Lean meat with veggies and brown rice
A whole-grain sandwich with eggs, avocado, and a side of fruit
Oatmeal with peanut butter, blueberries, and a protein shake
If you’re pressed for time, you can still slot in a meal as few as 45–60 minutes before your workout. However, the meal should be smaller and unprocessed to aid digestion and absorption. Instead of eating a balance of protein, carbs, and fat, your meal should consist of mostly carbs and some protein. These nutrients are digested faster and provide you the fuel you need in a shorter time period.
Good examples of meals to eat 45–60 minutes before a workout include:
A banana or apple with peanut butter
A blueberry and banana protein smoothie
A hard-boiled egg and toast
Food should be taken in moderation and curb yourself from eating too much food before a workout, as it may cause stomach discomfort, bloating, feelings of lethargy, or nausea during your workout.