If you are serious about your health and fitness there is every chance that you take nutrition seriously too. You will already appreciate that your body is a complex biological machine and that it works at its best if you supply it with the best available fuel. Due to the changes that occur in your body during and after exercise, nutrition has a very important role to play.
To get the most out of your workouts, whether you train for fitness or muscle tone, you need to have at least some understanding of exactly how when and what you eat affects your outcomes. Just like a motor vehicle, if you put the wrong fuel into your body, it may still operate to some degree but it will by no means be doing so at its most efficient. In the following article, we will take a closer look at the value of pre-workout nutrition.
Addressing the balance
While the last thing you need during an intense workout is a stomach full of stodgy food, your body will need nourishment and carbs during and after it has been put through its paces. You can click here to check out some facts about pre-workout do’s and don’ts.
In particular, bodybuilders are most likely to be aware that protein synthesis rates are lowered during training and that they increase again when the body is at rest following a workout.
This is why it is important to ensure that you have taken on sufficient calories and protein before your workout and this may be especially important if you train at the start of the day. Finding the balance between bloating up and taking on board sufficient fuel is likely to be a key factor in how quickly you build muscle and retain fitness levels for stamina and endurance.
The truth about eating carbs before working out
While carbs have received something of a negative reputation over the last few years and given way to the promotion of protein consumption, they still have a vital role in exercise and bodybuilding. There is an abundance of evidence to suggest that carbs act with insulin in the production of glucose to form the triglycerides that get trapped as fats in the body’s “fat cells”.
While this may be correct, training and in particularly cardio type exercise regimes feed off these reserves and a lack of carbs can lead to fatigue and even more serious issues for those who train particularly hard. Without getting too involved in the science, suffice to say that carbs provide the energy your body needs to sustain it during your workout.
When and what to eat if you are working out
It goes almost without mention that a balanced diet is essential for your general health and wellbeing but there will be specific times when your body needs that extra push. Your workout is one of these times and that is why 30 to 40 grams of any type of carbohydrate are recommended about half an hour before you are due to train.
In the case of longer and more intense workouts or cardio exercise, it may be an idea to monitor your carb intake more closely and concentrate on specific carbohydrate-rich foods.
That said, such natural foods as figs, potatoes, oatmeal, and “simple sugar” fruits are ideal sources of ready fuel. Highly refined carbohydrates such as mass-produced baked goods, most bread, and some pasta will work against you by using up their high content of unnatural sugars to boost fat retention.
Finding out what works best for you
You don’t need anyone to tell you that no two bodies work the same and that it sometimes takes a little trial and error to discover the correct balance. Moderation is the key, and by listening to your body and responding to its needs you are more likely to find your ideal pre-workout nutrition regime.