If you want to lose fat or add muscle (or both!), you know that your performance in the gym is one of the most important factors to consider. Therefore, this leads to the question of what you should and shouldn’t be eating before a workout and this is an important question for many reasons;
- Your pre-workout meal will give you the energy to push further in the gym
- Muscle breakdown can be reduced
- Fatigue can be reduced with the right meals and supplements
- Testosterone production can increase
Ultimately, this is only four of the main benefits and steps that lead to greater results. So, what should you consume in the hours leading up to an intense workout?
Nutrition – First and foremost, your pre-workout meal is important because the experts always note how fitness is more about food than exercise. For the best nutrient absorption and digestion, we recommend separating protein and carbs. When taken together, the two can be hard to digest, and you want the nutrients hitting your muscles while in the gym. With poor digestion, you don’t get this benefit, and you could also cause cannibalization within the body; this is where muscle tissue is broken down.
We recommend eating carbs first since these are easier to digest; around fifteen minutes later, you can consume your protein. In terms of ideas, we like fruit since the carbs (fructose) can be used almost immediately for energy rather than being stored which is what happens with many sources of carbohydrates. While most people choose a banana post workout, this is actually a bad idea because this is the time where you need to replenish glycogen storage.
Finally, for nutrition, we recommend adding salt to your food because sodium boasts electrolyte properties. Not only does this control the level of water in your body, but it’ll also regulate muscle/nerve functionality and blood volume. With electrolytes, you should receive an added boost while lifting weights and performing cardio work.
Supplements – In addition to your nutrition and pre-workout meals, we also recommend spending time considering supplements. Of course, these aren’t a necessity, and you’ll get along perfectly fine without them, but they might just provide the added boost you need.
Creatine-Monohydrate – If you haven’t heard of this product previously, it combines three amino acids; glycine, methionine, and arginine. With these in your body, you’ll see numerous benefits from increased strength to improved high-intensity performance. Furthermore, creatine will aid the production of ATP, and this is the main energy molecule in our bodies. Considering creatine is affordable, this is a great place to start.
BCAAs – Standing for Branched Chain Amino Acids, BCAAs is another product that combines three amino acids but this time valine, leucine, and isoleucine. By blocking serotonin in the brain, your brain experiences less fatigue, and you can stay focused in the gym. Additionally, muscle loss and muscle breakdown are reduced while protein synthesis is improved thanks to both anabolic and anti-catabolic properties.
However, these benefits are overshadowed somewhat by the main advantage of BCAAs; stimulated insulin production. As the cells absorb amino acids more efficiently, this leads to a more successful and rewarding workout.
Beta Alanine – Finally, the third supplement we suggest is one you aren’t likely to have been recommended before; beta alanine. As a non-essential amino acid, beta alanine can be found in the muscles, and it boosts muscle endurance as well as decreasing fatigue. Therefore, it provides a huge benefit when lifting weights in the gym.
Conclusion – Now, you should have everything you need for a successful meal before working out as well as the knowledge to pair this with useful supplements to see real results in your muscle growth and body fat loss goals!