Pre Workout Meals
Pre-Workout Meal: Your New Anchor Habit
The best type of habit to start is one that will stack up and help you win in other areas, too.
Too often I see people get overly ambitious with their training and nutrition plan. Unsurprisingly, it’s hard for them to stay consistent.
I’ve never seen someone get more consistent with training, while giving more effort, and not see favorable health and body improvements.
So back up one step to what you eat before training. A pre-workout meal can make you feel sluggish, bloated, gassy, and tempt you to skip the gym.
Or it can:
Create positive associations of caring for your body
Fuel you with what your body needs
Boost your energy for your workout and beyond
Dramatically improve your training for the day – and the results stack up every session
When you feel good during your workout, you’re much more likely to come back the next time and keep your consistency streak.
When to Eat a Pre Workout Meal
Ideal timing on this meal is anywhere from 1-2 hours before training. There’s a subtle difference depending on how close to training it is, but mostly the prescription is the same.
This meal will fuel your workout with carbohydrates for energy, and also set up a muscle-building environment (anabolic window) with protein.
How much fat or fiber you eat depends on how close to training time it is. Fat and fiber slow down digestion, preventing nutrients from being available when you want them to be. This can be good if you are eating further from training, but not ideal if you are training fairly soon.
What if I train fasted?
What if I missed the window and have to train in 15-20 minutes?
No worries. If this is what your lifestyle demands then do it. But you’ll want to prioritize your post workout nutrition in this case. Get some protein and carbs in immediately after you train. Then about 1-2 hours later, have a balanced meal of protein, carbs, and fats.
Still go for some nutrition. Keep it simple and go for easy to digest nutrients. A quick protein shake and a piece of fruit that you like are your best bet. Avoid slow digesting foods with higher fat or fiber like nuts, grains, raw vegetables, etc.
The Best Pre Workout Meal
Here’s a recipe that will work for most as a starting point – you’ll be able to learn over time what works well for you.
- Carbs – .45grams/lb of bodyweight
- Choose slower-digesting starches like potatoes or oats
- Add in a serving of fruit. Fruit digests differently than the other starches and can deliver more carbs into the system at the right time for performance
- Protein – .22grams/lb of bodyweight
- Look for leaner sources where you can control the fat content (i.e. chicken breast)
- We don’t want super fatty meats as they will be slower to digest
- Fats – 0-20grams total – depending on how close to training time
- These can come from any source you like or be part of your protein sources
- More fats the further away from training. Less fats the closer to training.
Meal prep - watch and learn
But What if I…?
Look Good. Move Well.
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