Skipping food before going for a workout is a heinous crime in the bodybuilding world. It is a rule of thumb that one should never exercise on an empty stomach.
A popular belief is that exercising on an empty stomach will burn more fat. But contrary to it, working out without fuel may burn protein and muscle to compensate for the lack of carbs. It will be your loss.
Working out on an empty stomach is like driving a car without any fuel. Plus, not fueling your body properly beforehand will suffer make your workout suffer.
Your body wonai??i??t have the energy to sustain so much work. And a hungry and growling stomach will keep you distracted from your target.
But for newbies and skippers it is confusing to decide what to eat before the workout. Food can make or break your workout session.
Here are some of the guidelines that you should follow before planning your pre-workout meal.
#1 Fuel beforehand with complex carbohydrates Ai??
Complex and slow-burning carbs are the best sources of energy before a workout session. These carbs are easy to digest easily and they provide sufficient energy to sustain. They also feed and fuel your brain so that you can focus better on the task in your hand.
Try and avoid simple carbs as much as possible. They spike up your blood sugar level.
Oatmeal, sweet potatoes, whole grain bread, vegetables and fruits are all ideal pre-workout snacks.
#2 Time of consumption is important to keep in mind
Time matters when it comes to eating before exercising. You should eat a snack at least 30-60 minutes before you hit the gym.
If your workout falls in between the meals, then consume a meal 2-4 hours before exercise. The same rules will apply to the meals too.
#3 Keep the size of your pre-workout snacks and meals small
As snacks are to be consumed 30-60 minutes before the workout, the size of their portion should be kept small. A small sized snack will be easy and faster to digest. It will thus ensure that your body has the fuel to burn before the workout.
If you want to eat a meal, have it at least an hour or two before your workout. Keep the portion size larger than the snacks.
If you had a full meal, wait for at least two to three hours before working out.
#4 Avoid fat and too much protein before workouts
Too much of proteins and fats arenai??i??t ideal for pre-workout eating. They canai??i??t be digested as easily and will sit a little heavier in the stomach. This can make you lethargic during exercising.
If you are aiming for an exercise session of fewer than 60 minutes, then add a little protein. A little protein will help in building and repairing muscle tissue, in sustaining energy, and in reducing post-exercise soreness.
Healthy protein like Greek yogurt or nut butter when paired with complex carbs like fruits will work wonder if consumed in right proportions.
#5 Drink plenty of water before a workout
Staying hydrated before a workout is necessary. Hydration prevents fatigue. Water also keeps your energy levels steady during exercise.
Drink at least 8-16 ounce of water 2 hours before a workout and the same amount right before you start exercising.
The same goes for during and after a workout.