What to eat before your daily workout?

What to eat before your daily workout?

Weight loss, as we know it is a steady and gradual process. Everyone now understands the significance of a healthy diet and daily workout. As a combination, these two make you lose weight like anything. But have you ever wondered how to schedule the daily meals with the gym?

Mostly, the best food to eat before exercising varies for everyone. It depends upon the type of workout and personal goals. For example, a high protein diet is ideal for a person doing resistance training for muscle building.

Firstly you need to balance all your macronutrients. These macronutrients are required in large quantities for the body to perform well.

Don’t know about macronutrients? Here are three macronutrients that your body needs.

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fat

All of these are rich sources to provide energy to the body. This energy is necessarily required especially before going to the gym.

What to eat before exercise?

Protein as macronutrient

Protein is made of amino acids and it is necessary for building the blocks of your body. It also helps in the maintenance, and repair of muscle fibers.

If you are eating a meal that has a high amount of lean protein in it will make your workout better.

Why is protein a good pre-workout food?

Protein intake helps the amount of muscle mass to increase, especially when you are lifting weights. Normally when you are lifting weights, it may damage the muscles. But when you take a protein-rich diet with it, it increases the number of amino acid in it. It reduces the chance of muscle deterioration. Additionally, it synthesizes muscle proteins and stimulates muscular growth.

Normally taking 20%-30% grams of proteins before a workout may result in protein synthesis. It lasts for long hours.

What are high-protein foods?

Considering a high protein diet, you can try many options. Some of the healthy foods rich in protein are

  • Fish (tuna, salmon etc)
  • Poultry (chicken)
  • Nuts
  • eggs
  • Lentils
  • Beans

Anyone concerned about muscle gain must ensure a daily supply of protein.

Why is carbohydrates a good pre-workout food?

Carbohydrates are a rich source of energy. It is recommended to use carbohydrates a couple of hours before working out daily. Taking the right amount of carbohydrates make the quality of workout better.

It particularly helps people who want to do cardiovascular and resistance exercises, among all other kinds. But you should know that different carbohydrates produce different impacts. For example

  • Simple carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are sugar that is an instant source of energy. White bread is the most common source of these carbohydrates.

  • Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates mean carbs taken from fiber or starch. These are a slow and long-term source of energy. Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole grain foods.

Which type of carbohydrate is better in a pre-workout meal?

Consuming complex carbohydrates have numerous health advantages, such as

Using simple carbohydrates will provide short-term of energy. If you are taking simple carbohydrates before a workout, the energy may drop soon, even before your workout ends. In this situation, complex carbohydrates are better to use. The energy from complex carbohydrates is more consistent and lasts for a longer time.

Complex carbohydrates tend to be high in certain foods such as beans. Usually, simple carbohydrates are not that nutritious such as chocolate and cakes.

The complex carbohydrate has a low glycemic index score than simple carbohydrate. Using a food with a low glycemic index score is good for health. It doesn’t cause the blood sugar level to rise thus preventing the risk of diabetes.

The digestion of complex carbohydrates is slower than simple carbohydrates. It means that the energy obtained from complex carbohydrates will last for a longer time.

If you want to increase the energy before a workout, it’s better to consume complex carbohydrates. The ideal time for consumption is 2-3 hours before you hit the gym. For simple carbohydrates, the ideal consumption time is 30-60 minutes before working out.

What are complex carbohydrate-rich foods?

Following are a few examples of foods that have complex carbohydrates.

  • Whole grain pasta
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain bread
  • Oats

For simple carbohydrates, fruits are also a good source. Among fruits, bananas are one of the best choices for pre-workout energy.

Why is fat a good pre-workout food?

Fats are a vital energy source. Typically, a high-fat diet is not recommended before exercise as the body takes more time to digest fat than carbohydrates. It shows that the body may not be able to break down and absorb fats before a workout. Definitely, it will not add up to energy gain that is essentially required for any workout.

Can fats help before a workout?

Before any workout, the best is to eat a food high in protein or carbohydrates. However, some healthy fat sources are also a part of a balanced diet. You may take fat in moderate amount before a workout. Make sure that you are giving your body sufficient time to break down fat. So that your energy levels are high when you start your workout.

Not to forget, not all fats are healthy. Some specific types of fat such as saturated and trans fats are not healthy and they may cause adverse effects on health.

What are healthy fats rich foods?

As some fats are not healthy, other types are highly nutritious. For example, unsaturated fats provide numerous health benefits. Following are some examples of high fats food.

  • Avocados
  • Avocado oil
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • olive oil

When should you eat your pre-workout meal?

The timing of a pre-workout meal is very significant as it determines the rise in energy levels. Ideally, you should eat a pre-workout meal containing carbohydrates and protein, at least 2-3 hours before exercise.

Waiting for a few hours after eating will allow your body to complete the process of digestion. If you don’t want to take such a long gap, there is an alternate way. You may also eat a smaller meal, containing simple carbohydrates.

In this case, the waiting time for complete digestion will be 3-60 minutes only. You can start your workout right after this time.



The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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