Once you know you’re getting all of your total macros right for the day.
Both your pre and post workout meal are the most important meals of the day.
And not your breakfast like many people believe.
Let’s first talk about pre workout nutrition.
Its main function is to fuel the workout itself and maximize your performance throughout.
Sounds simple right.
That’s because it is.
Unfortunately the fitness world has really overall complicated this and many gurus will sell you super specific recommendations or products that really don’t make a difference.
Let’s now cut through all of this nonsense and figure out exactly what you should be eating before your workout.
Like I said before this meal is meant to fuel your workout.
So in a scientific sense it’s meant to do three things:
Reduce muscle glycogen depletion.
Reduce muscle protein breakdown.
And reduce post workout cortisol levels.
Now how exactly do you accomplish this easy.
You eat carbs and protein before your workout.
What this means is that the most important rule of your pre workout meal is to consume a good amount of both carbs and protein before you train.
I know this sounds very simple and maybe too simple to you.
But let me tell you that way too many people.
Overcomplicate this and fear that if they don’t consume x grams of protein and x grams of carbs x minutes before their workout they will build no muscle or lose no fat.
Fortunately that’s not the case.
And anyone telling you otherwise is probably trying to sell you some overpriced supplement.
Of course I don’t want to leave you with no guidelines at all.
So I will give you a few rough values that you can keep in mind when you prepare your pre workout meal.
The true specifics here will always differ from person to person and depends on what time of the day you work out or how much time you actually have before you workout.
But it’s a good reference.
If you can!
Eat a balanced meal with 0.2 to 0.5 grams per pound of your target body weight.
For both carbs and protein around one hour before your workout.
Now in case you don’t have time for that and or your last meal lies more than two hours prior to your training!
Consume liquid or easily digested protein and carbs 30 minutes before your workout.
This could be a protein shake with a banana for example.
The liquid will be more easily digested allowing your body to absorb nutrients faster.
I personally like to eat a normal meal of brown rice, chicken and vegetables 1 hour before my workout.
You see this is nothing special just protein and carbs just coming from normal foods, 1 to 2 hours before working out.
This is what is proven to get you the best results and looking at things as simple as possible.
There is really no need to get any more complicated than that and no need to obsess about the specifics.
Last but not least in case you don’t like rice and chicken or don’t want to eat it everyday.
Here’s some more suggestions for pre workout meals.
Meals that you can eat up to one hour before your workout Include:
– Oatmeal with whey protein mixed in.
– A large chicken sandwich with whole grain bread.
– Two or more hard boiled eggs on an avocado toast.
– Wholegrain pasta with some sort of protein.
Again chicken or meat or whatever source of protein you prefer.
Snacks that you can eat 30 minutes or less before you workout.
Include a banana with a protein shake.
Apple wedges, with cinnamon.
Or a protein bar.