Your health and fitness goals are tied to your nutrition and physical activity, so why not maximize your gains by knowing what to eat, when to eat it, and why it is crucial for fat loss, muscle growth, and recovery.
1-2 Hours Before Training
1. Clean Source Of Moderate To Slow-Digesting Carbohydrates:
In order to power through your gut-wrenching, muscle-fiber-tearing workout, you need a premium source of fuel. That's why it's fundamentally important that you consume a slow to moderate digesting source of carbohydrates.
Not only will they provide a source of energy, thereby preventing your body from tapping into muscle for energy, but a slower digesting carb will sustain you throughout your entire workout.
This is why it's not recommended to use mainly high glycemic or fast-digesting carbs as you'll quickly burn out once their energy source is used up during your workout.
Some recommended low to moderate GI carbohydrate sources are brown rice, oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, white rice (long grain) and even whole wheat pasta. Of course, portion control and timing is a must when consuming a meal pre-workout.
If you consume an overabundance of carbs or consume them too close to your workout, your body has insufficient time to metabolize the food.
This results in blood being redirected to your working muscles rather than being reflowed to your stomach to aid in digestion, causing stomach cramps. As a general rule, consume anywhere between 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates one to two hours before working out.
Fruits, such as oranges, make an excellent addition to your pre-workout meal. Now that you have a slower digesting carb source (as outlined above), it is also beneficial to have a small but sufficient source of fast-digesting carbs to kick-start your workout.
Oranges provide this type of quick energy source. That's why you always hear bodybuilders talking about eating or sucking on oranges before a workout.
Aside from providing a solid source of simple carbohydrates, oranges are packed with vitamin C and electrolytes. Bananas and apples are also excellent options if oranges are not to your liking.
Of course, no meal is complete without protein. As the building block of new muscle growth, protein - composed of essential and non-essential amino acids - is vital to maintaining a positive nitrogen balance necessary to stimulate maximum protein synthesis.
Obtaining the correct ratio of amino acids is vital to achieving an anabolic state and the best way of achieving this is by consuming complete protein sources such as egg whites, chicken, turkey and even skim milk.
Don't waste a good workout with bad nutrition!