Top 5 Pre-Workout Meals – What Should You Eat?
The Pre-Workout Meal Guide
Lets get to it, you just came here for some pre workout recipes. So that's what you'll get. Read below for pre workout supplements and some of the science behind the timing of different pre workout meals with macros. Anyways...
Pre Workout Meal #1
Acai smoothie with almond butter and a scoop of whey protein.
High antioxidant, healthy fats, and protein.
Pre Workout Meal #2
Greek Yogurt Mixed With Granola And Berries
Ample carbs for your workout and a bit of protein.
Pre Workout Meal #3
Oatmeal With Greek Yogurt Sprinkled With Blue Berries/Raspberries
Blueberries and raspberries offer high antioxidants while the oatmeal is full of carbs ready to fuel your workout. The Greek Yogurt adds a delicious protein punch while the butter adds a fat source.
Pre Workout Meal #4
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich
Guess grandma was right... Peanut butter (healthy fat and protein source), Jelly and whole grain bread (carbs, carbs, carbs)
Pre Workout Meal #5
Avocado Toast Topped With Basil Leaves And Chia Seeds
Avocado offers a healthy fat source with an antioxidant punch. Whole grain bread with basil leaves for carbs and protein.
Here's A Little Science
When it’s time to go to the gym your body needs to be fueled with the right nutrients to make the workout worth it. Athletes and just your every day fitness junkies look for each and every way to maximize their workouts. After all, diet is somewhere from 80 to 90 percent of your overall physique, so you better get it right.
Below we list the best pre workout meals that will help you reach your full fitness potential and crush every workout.
First we are going to look at the macro nutrients your body needs to perform it’s best in the gym. The ratio you get in your diet is everything.
Carbs, Carbs, Carbs
Quality carbs are a necessity when it comes to fuel for your muscles. Carbs are used for their glucose which is then stored as glycogen. These glycogen stores should be full before you work out as it will take a day or 2 to become ready for use by the muscles.
When planning for a workout or even an athletic event experts turn to carb loading, which requires eating a surplus of carbs days before the event. This will make sure your bodies glycogen storages are to the max for the workout and your muscles can work at full intensity.
Carbs are extremely important for shorter and more intense workouts, think explosive movements. pre workout meal source1
You may have heard of this next macro nutrient your body craves pre workout and even more so post work out. Everyone know your body needs protein to recover and build muscle post workout.
Athletic performance can actually be increased with pre workout protein intake. Eating a good protein source before a workout has been shown in studies to increase the protein synthesis of your muscles. pre workout meal source2 Additional protein synthesis is good because it allows your body to grow and improve.
Here are some positive effects of consuming protein pre workout:
- Increase in anabolic response which leads to more muscle growth pre workout meal source3
- Better overall muscle recovery pre workout meal source4
- Lean muscle gain and strength increase pre workout meal source5
- Better overall muscle output pre workout meal source6
The third macro nutrient that will power your body to success it healthy sources of fat. Fat it great for long and more endurance types of exercises. pre workout meal source7
Certain studies tested the effects of a higher fat diet and endurance workouts. These studies showed a positive improvement in the level that the athletes were able to train vs. a low fat diet. Endurance improved in most of the athletes that ate a higher fat diet. This shows that fat prior to training is beneficial and even more so if eaten over time to fuel the body. pre workout meal source8
Here are some sources of healthy fats:
- Peanut Butter
- Almond Butter
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Omega 3 (Found in fish or krill)
Check Out Helios Krill Oil Omega 3 on Amazon
Time Your Pre Workout Meal
Based on which training or event you are planning to participate in be sure to get in the right macro nutrients in the days prior to build up storages and especially 3 or so hours before the even. Your pre work out meal should model the information above for high intensity training (higher carbs) or low intensity endurance which will require higher healthy fat sources.
Pre Workout Meals You Should Make Before You Train
More than 3 hours to training
- Rice mixed with lean protein and a side of veggies
- Scrambled Eggs with whole-grain toast covered with a nut butter and a cup of orange juice
2 hours till work out
- Acai berry smoothie with almond milk, almond butter, and protein powder
- Oatmeal with blueberries and banana
1 hour till work out
- Greek yogurt
- Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients
- A banana or other fruit
Most importantly above any food, Drink Water!
Water makes up most of our body and is especially needed for any workout. It is recommended that you drink around 8 glasses of 8 ounces, the 8x8 rule.
Water cleans your skin, washes out toxins, and keeps your cells plump and healthy. So don't forget to drink and hydrate.
Tip: Trader Joes offers great deals on quality food products like açaí and other high anti oxidant health foods. If you want to be your best and save money swing by your local trader joes!
Here are some recommended supplements to add to your diet for additional support.
Supplement use is common in sports. These products may enhance performance, improve strength, increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue.
Below are some of the best pre-workout supplements.
Caffeine is a popular substance in the united states, most people ingest this through coffee to start their day. It is among the healthier option if you drink black coffee as it is very high in anti oxidants, caffeine being one of those. Black coffee also has a fat burning effect as it increases your metabolism. Other options are available such as pre workout supplements which work well before a workout. Pick your poison and ingest caffeine before your workout pre workout meal source9
Creatine is among one of the most popular supplements for performance and one of the most researched. Creatine has been shown to increase the ATP in your skeletal muscles allowing them more energy for explosive movements. This leads to more muscle mass being gained and better workouts. Creating is best dosed at 5 grams a day and takes about 2 weeks to fully saturate the skeletal muscles. There is not need for a load cycle as creatine is absorbed at the same rate regardless so stick with the 5 grams a day. pre workout meal source10
Taking creatine after the workout has shown some benefit but in the bigger picture it doesn’t matter as long as you take it everyday. The body is efficient and absorbs creatine easily.
BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
Amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine are branched chain amino acids which help protect your muscles during a workout and increase protein synthasis. A dosing of around 5 grams is sufficient pre workout.
Put It To Practice
Giving your body the right fuel will allow you to perform at your best whether it be a workout or an athletic event.
Eating more quality carbs before your exercise will allow you to have more intense and explosive workouts.
Higher quality fat intake will allow you to perform better endurance for longer.
Lastly having a quality source of protein pre work out will promote protein synthesis and help your muscles recover better.
Follow these guidelines as you prepare your pre workout meals and most importantly stay hydrated (our bodies are made up of 70% water so don’t neglect it).
For optimal results plan and practice your diet daily so your body has all that it needs every time you workout. Find a routine that works for you and foods that you enjoy that follow the macros you need.
This will be the base for success and then fine tuning with supplementation on top will lead you to your fitness goals.
80 to 90 percent of your physique and performance is nutrition, so get to it!
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