Pre-workout nutrition for energy
Energy levels deplete rapidly during exercise, whether it’s high intensity or endurance training. So, energy levels should be high before you start to exercise and maintain at a sufficient level throughout in order to prevent premature fatigue. Your pre-workout nutrition can support your workout plan and goals.
Protein can be consumed in a pre-workout meal, snack or supplement alongside carbohydrates.
Normally eaten around 2-3 hours before you exercise, a Pre-workout Meal is an opportunity to pack in two of your main macronutrients: protein and carbohydrates. This is where you can consume some complex carbohydrates, as you have enough time to digest them before your workout.
Foods such as chicken, tuna, wholegrains and brown rice are recommended. They pack a protein punch, which is a priority so that your body has everything it needs for optimum performance. Most protein sources also include BCAAs and creatine.
A smaller snack can be consumed closer to your workout, usually about 30 minutes to an hour before exercise. Comprising of lean protein and simple carbohydrates, it can be digested in a shorter time and put to good use.
Rice cakes, white toast and oats are good examples of simple carbohydrates that can be digested easily. The carbohydrates are important as they contain glucose.
Ingredients in a pre-workout supplement can vary. Generally taken as a pre-workout shake or smoothie, some of the common ingredients include creatine, BCAAs and caffeine.
Creatine is naturally produced in the body but only in small amounts – during exercise your creatine stores deplete rapidly. Supplements with creatine help to saturate your muscle’s creatine stores and 3g/d creatine has been shown to increase physical performance during short-term, high intensity exercise.
Branched-chain amino acids, also referred to as BCAAs, taken pre-workout can support your training goals. BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. Protein synthesis must exceed protein breakdown for muscle growth and to prevent a muscle loss.