Pre-workout Nutrition Guide
Confused about pre workout nutrition? – here’s what you need to know.
Exercise is a catabolic activity particularly if you are performing endurance training or working out in a fasted state. This means that if you are working out to build more muscle it’s important to fuel with the right foods to reduce the rate of muscle breakdown and improve protein synthesis (muscle building). Similarly if you are planning a long run or cycle ride you will want to ensure sufficient glycogen stores to allow you to perform at your best and reduce fatigue. Eating too little or the wrong types of food before exercise can lead to glycogen depletion and affect muscle building.
Whether you need a specific pre workout snack will depend partly on your workout and the timing of your meals. If you haven’t eaten for a while (e.g 3-4 hours ago) then a pre-workout meal is likely to be beneficial. So if you train first thing in the morning in a fasted state or early evening before dinner you may find it improves performance. This is true for both heavy gym sessions and endurance training. For example studies show that consuming protein (20-40g) before a weightlifting session can lead to better results.
Carbohydrates are equally important for both weight training and endurance workouts. Eating carbohydrates 30 minutes before exercise provide your muscles with more fuel to aid performance. This allows you to workout harder for longer. For short intensive workouts select some higher glycemic carbs (e.g banana, dried fruit) For longer endurance training focus on more slower releasing carbohydrates (oats, sweet potato, brown rice). Depending on your workout aim for around 30-50g carbohydrates taken 30 minutes before exercise.
For endurance activities such as long-distance running or cycling, your body can also get used to burning fats as a source of fuel. You’ll generally burn a mixture of carbs and fats depending on the intensity of the exercise but by consuming more fat and training at moderate intensities, your body can adapt to using more fat as a fuel.
Pre Workout Supplements
Ideally focus on nutritious foods for your pre-workout snack rather than resorting to supplements. That said many people struggle to consume food prior to exercise – this is where supplements can be helpful. For example for a great combination try whizzing up our Whey Protein + Collagen powder with coconut water and a banana. For a more carbohydrate focused supplement use the Hydro Energy Drink
Written by ONE PRO Nutritionist Christine Bailey