Pre-Activity nutrition needs
What and when you eat before exercise can make a big difference to your performance and recovery.
Before your workout or activity you need to eat something that helps you:
- sustain your energy.
- boost your performance.
- preserve your muscle mass.
- peed your recovery.
Here are a few ways to ensure you’re meeting your the above requirements.
Protein intake before exercise.
Eating some with protein with in the few hours before exercise:
- can help you maintain or increase your muscle size. Your muscle is vital to improving and maintaining health, body composition and performance. You NEVER want to lose muscle mass.
- can reduce muscle damage (Cratine stores, protein degradation (myofibrillar hypertrophy) and myoglobin). Prevent muscle damage from getting worse. When you workout or are active you are breaking down and tearing your muscle tissue. Minimizing muscular damage will help you recover faster and help your body adapt to your activity long term.
- improves your blood amino profile. The proteins you eat before your activity will provide your body with vital aminos when your body needs them most. The better the amino profile you have during activity the better your body has a chance to maintain and build muscle.
Now, before you load up on protein prior to your next activity be careful not to have too much. Protein will slow the digestion process which may make your stomach feel heavy. Usually anything with a protein source, eaten a few hours before your activity will usually do the trick.
Carbohydrates before exercise
Carbs are your bodies preferred source of Fuel.
Eating carbs before exercise:
- fuels your training and helps speed recovery. Protein can’t get through the muscle barrier without a carb to drive it into the muscle. Some people think that carbs should only be used for long (more than 90 min) endurance events. This isn’t a good thought process, carbs can enhance short term high intensity activities.
- preserves muscle. Remember, carbs are your bodies preferred source of Fuel. If there are limited to no carbs in your system your body will look for the second easiest source of energy and that’s MUSCLE. Maintain your energy and muscle and get some carbs in your body.
- preserves liver glycogen. Liver glycogen synthesis and degradation are regulated to maintain blood glucose levels. When liver glycogen is depleted your blood glucose plummets and your brain tells you to eat like a runaway freight train. We have all been there. We find ourselves in the pantry eating everything is sight and know we shouldn’t but can’t stop eating. Carbs before activities helps tell your brain that you are well fed and helps curb post activity binges.
- stimulates the release of insulin. Carbs, when combined with protein, improve protein synthesis and prevents your body turning to is own muscle for energy. Another reason why a balanced meal is a great rule. No sugary carb drinks, but a well balanced meal/snack is required.
Fats before exercise:
- won’t Fuel your activity. Research shows that dietary fats don’t appear to improve nor diminish sport performance. Carbs fuel performance.
- may inhibit digestion and lead to a heavy feel and even lethargy. However, a small amount of fats will help maintain positive blood glucose and insulin levels and keep you on an even keel.
- provide some vitamins and minerals essential for proper health and recovery.
If you have recently been “runnin’ on empty”, or exercising on an empty stomach, you may need to start slow and add foods as tolerable. If this is the case you will want to turn to a carb source like fruit or a high carb yogurt.
Here are some other ideas:
- Pre Workout/Activity Meal:
- Keep Fats Low
- Cereal (200-300 cals): Oatmeal, Cheerios ect.
Protein (75-150 cals): Protein powder, 1-2 eggs
- Toast or fruit, 1tbs nut butter & 1 tbs of honey
- Yogurt and fruit Parfait (“everybody loves parfait”)
1/4 cup nonfat yogurt,2 Tbs whole grain cereal and 1/2 cup fruit.
1 Kashi Waffle, 1 tbs of jam, 1/2 tbs nut butter
- 1-2 Rice cakes with a tbs of nut butter
Most important advice is to listen to your body! Try something and note how you feel and perform. Make small changes and adjustments as you go and soon you will find wha works best for you.
Have fun with this and keep me posted.
I love hearing your stories.
Keep after your goals and enjoy the journey.
Discover your ELITE.