Whether your aim is to lose body fat, to bulk or gain muscle, your body requires significant energy levels for optimum performance during exercise – and ideally, your body needs to remain in an anabolic state. This can be difficult when following a calorie-deficit diet. However, if you comprise your diet of the right macronutrients, you are on the right track.
This is important when you eat before your workout. You can have a pre-workout meal, snack or supplement to set your body up so it can perform to the best of its ability and make every rep count. The aim is to give you a pre-workout boost and get your blood pumping through your muscles during exercise.
Common ingredients for pre-workout nutrition include your macronutrients protein and carbohydrates, creatine, BCAAs and caffeine. Here, we explore how these ingredients provide a pre-workout boost.
Protein should be a key nutrient to support muscle maintenance and growth. During exercise, protein breakdown is often elevated when energy stores deplete, which leads to a loss of protein.
Glucose is found in carbohydrates, which increases the level of glycogen and elevates your blood sugar levels for later use in the body. Glycogen levels deplete during exercise.
The compound is naturally produced in the body by three amino acids, but only in small amounts. Because of this, there is very little to be stored in your muscles. When creatine is supplemented before a workout, it helps to saturate your muscle’s creatine stores which deplete quickly during exercise.
3g/d creatine has been shown to increase physical performance during short-term, high intensity exercise.
Branched-chain amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Protein synthesis needs to be stimulated to exceed protein breakdown and prevent a muscle loss.
Stimulating the central nervous system, caffeine helps raise alertness and focus.