Whether you’ve been working out for quite some time, or you’re just beginning to enter the world of bodybuilding in the hopes of pumping iron and cultivating muscle, you’ve probably heard all sorts of talk surrounding the working out process. There’s the actual workout, and then there are the pre-workout rituals.
As one bodybuilder has said, pre-workout nutrition was one of the things drilled into him when he first started out.
Why do you need pre-workout nutrition? Do you even really need it? Can’t I just jump straight into a warm-up and then just start pumping iron?
“Every day, your body is constantly breaking down and rebuilding muscle proteins. This process is known as ‘protein turnover,’ and when viewed on the whole, breakdown and synthesis rates generally balance each other out.
“When you exercise, however, things change.
“Research shows that protein synthesis rates decline during resistance training and cardio, and that both protein synthesis and breakdown rates rise soon after you finish working out, with breakdown rates eventually overtaking synthesis rates.
“In other words, exercise is a catabolic activity. Now, mechanically speaking, muscle growth is the result of protein synthesis rates exceeding breakdown rates over extended periods of time.
“Therefore, if you want to gain muscle as quickly as possible, then you want to do everything you can to keep protein synthesis rates at or above breakdown rates. The more time your body spends in this anabolic state, the faster you gain muscle.
“That’s one of the reasons you need to eat enough calories and protein every day, why various strategies to accelerate muscle recovery can help, and why pre-workout nutrition is a staple in the world of bodybuilding.
“The goal of the pre-workout meal is simple: Dial down muscle breakdown and punch up muscle synthesis rates.”
What type of food will you need?
Providing your body with the right nutrition prior to exercising is essential. They give you the energy you will need in preparation for your long workout at home or in the gym. The energy that the food you eat is responsible for your performance.
Each macronutrient has a role to perform before your workout.
The food you eat needs to contain carbs.
They contain glucose, and this fuels your muscles as you workout. The way a body stores and processes glucose is called glycogen. This is mainly found in the liver and the muscles. Consuming a diet rich in carbs is a popular method of maximizing glycogen stores.
Your body will also need proteins.
Research has shown that eating food rich in protein before a workout increases muscle protein synthesis. A better anabolic response also comes from eating a high-protein diet. Consuming protein has benefits which include better muscle growth, Improved muscle recovery, and increased muscle performance.
And finally, your body requires fat. It is the source of fuel for longer and moderate-to-low-intensity exercises.
For the full-effect and desired results, check out these five meals from Men’s Journal you would want to try eating before you do your regular bursts at the gym.
Get the protein-punch you would need to start your late mornings.
Keep in mind. When creating these, stick to the three macronutrients your body will mainly need for working out. Use some dried fruit, seeds, and nuts.
Fruits contain sucrose: the perfect kind of sugar that would be easy to digest. Perfect for an intense workout.
Bananas with Peanut Butter and Honey
Bananas are loaded with simple carbs and potassium. With a little honey for sweetening, this will release slow and steady levels of glucose into your bloodstream. It’s the perfect recipe for any endurance workout.
Peanut-Butter and Jelly Sandwich
The most budget-friendly item on this short list, and the easiest one to make by far. It’s a portable source of protein and carbs. Just make sure to use whole-wheat bread and natural nut butter.
And on that note…
The next time you think about working out, try loading up on some necessary nutrients.
Because perhaps unknown to most of us before, exercising with the right amount of nutrients flowing through your body can boost your workout to a different level of efficiency.