Pre-Workout Meals: Know Your Nutrients

By February 13, 2020 No Comments
Healthy Breakfast Food for an Active Day

Atkins, Paleo, Keto, South Beach, Vegan, Intermittent Fasting – there are a mind boggling options of diets to choose from. Irrespective of the type, a balanced dietwill determine your road to fitness. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are always looking at eating the right kind of food to boost performance. What you eat before and after a workout will help your body function better and heal faster. Optimal consumption of nutrients before training will not only benefit you in maximizing performance but reduce chances of muscle injury.

Here’s an all you need to know about pre-workout nutrition:

What To Eat Before Your Workout?

Fueling your body with the proper nutrients before a workout will give you the power and strength you need to deliver better performance. Each macronutrient (carbohydrates, fats, fiber, proteins and water) has a particular role to play before a drill. The intervals at which you eat and the portion size will be decided by what suits your body and the type of activity. It’s best to consult a nutritionist to decide the appropriate diet and chalk out a meal plan.


The body processes and reserves glucose, mostly in the liver and muscles, via glycogen. For short- and high-intensity workout, your glycogen stores are your muscles’ primary source of strength. But for more extended exercises, the degree at which carbs are being used depends on numerous factors. These involve the intensity, type of activity, and your overall diet.

More about the importance of Carbs-loading before a marathon.

Carbohydrate loading, also called carb-loading, is a familiar concept among athletes and runners. With this process, extra glycogen gets stored in the body that muscles can use once the normal stock gets used up. 

Foods you can consume include brown rice, oatmeal, toast with honey or jam, granola bars, bagels and coffee, potatoes, beetroot, banana and apple. “Avoid too much oil, butter, cheese and foods that are high in fibre and fat as those may cause gastrointestinal distress. Eat a high carb meal (around 100g-120g) and proteins such as eggs three hours prior to the run,” Amreen Chadha, ISSA certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist and a resistance training specialist (level 1) tells Protima Tiwary.

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Several studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein intake to enhance athletic achievement.  Eating protein with carbs before exercise has been shown to boost muscle protein synthesis. It also aids muscle building and recovery. Fish, chicken, nut, lentils, eggs, low fat dairy are rich in protein. Beans and chickpeas contain 15% protein for every cup cooked. 

Soy and its byproducts are all considered protein-rich food. Tofu or bean curd is made through a similar process as cheese but with soy milk. 

Known as gluten-free grains, amaranth and quinoa are not exactly cereals but can be powdered into flour, like other grains. A cup of cooked amaranth or quinoa can provide 8-9 grams of protein. 

Granola bar, a piece of toast with almond butter or honey, a banana serve, yogurt with fruits, oats are good options for pre-workout snack.

Hydrate Well

It’s a known fact that drinking the optimal quantity of water is vital to overall health. It also plays a very critical role in a fitness routine—when you’re exerting it out, you need to make sure your body is adequately hydrated since you are losing water. Moreover, being hydrated will make sure your energy levels are where they need to be.

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