The Do’s, the Don’ts and Food Solutions Pre-Workout
What you put in is what you get out. What you get out is what you put in.
What you eat before you exercise is meant to act as fuel for physical activity while also maximizing your performance during exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) supports that pre-workout meals may vary dependent on training style, duration, overall health status and performance. However, making sure that you have the proper tools and general knowledge of a healthy pre-workout nutrition practice will not only help you fine-tune your overall nutrition planning, but will also help your successfully meet your personal fitness goals.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Pre-Workout Nutrition is a good place to start….
Pre- Workout Dos
- Eat a meal or snack before you workout.
- Eat a small meal one to three hours before your workout. Example: 300-400 calories.
- Eat a snack 60-90 minutes before your training. Example: 100-200 calories.
- Include appropriate macronutrient balances for carbohydrates and protein.
- Hydrate! According to WebMD you should:
- Drink 15-20 ounces of water one to two hours prior to exercise.
- Drink 8-10 ounces of water right before.
- Drink consistently throughout your workout to maintain proper hydration.
- Do consider an electrolyte supplement if you tend to sweat a lot or plan to workout for long periods (60-90+ minutes) at a time.
- Do not consume foods and beverages that set “heavy” on the stomach. Foods such as dairy, fried and fatty foods, cruciferous vegetables, spicy foods and fruit juices can cause stomach cramps, indigestion, gas or discomfort while exercising.
- Do not drink alcohol before exercising. Not only is alcohol a diuretic, but it also increases the likelihood of injury and dehydration and decreases the body’s ability to burn fat effectively.
- Do not skip your carbs. Carbohydrates are fuel for your muscles. The more intense the workout, the more nutrient dense carbohydrates you need.
- Do not over-consume pre-workout supplements. Many over the counter pre-workout supplements contain stimulants that if used long term or in excess can have detrimental and harmful effects on your overall health.
Pre-Workout Meal and Snack Ideas
- Banana with almond butter
- Fruit smoothie
- Oatmeal with fresh fruit
- Fresh salad with boiled eggs
- Yogurt parfait
- Granola or protein bar
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Whole grain toast or granola
- Apple with peanut butter
- Cottage cheese and fruit
Stay tuned for the do’s, the don’ts and food solutions post-workout!
– Casey Edmonds, CHC