Planning a Perfect Pre-Workout Meal
What you eat prior to a workout is very important. A pre-workout meal should allow you to have a burst of energy as well as provide you with the right nutrients so that the energy isn’t a flash in the pan but instead a sustained fire. The meal should take place approximately an hour before your workout, and with it you should be sure and drink at least two cups (16oz.) of WATER. Other beverages are fine as supplements to the food, but water is a staple of the preworkout meal. In your pre-workout meal, protein should play a major role. Lean meats, such as turkey work well. Eggs are also a good choice as the protein component in your meal. Egg yolks are filled with fat and bad cholesterol, so you may want to fish them out. Doing so, however, reduces the protein content of the eggs. Bacon has more fat than protein and thus shouldn’t be counted as a positive. If dairy is more your style, low fat cottage cheese and its sweeter cousin Greek yogurt* are packed with protein. The second component of a balanced pre-workout meal is its carbohydrates. As usual, it is important to seek out the ‘good’ carbs. Carbs are energy and there are two types of both. ‘Good’ carbs provide a slow steady stream of energy while ‘bad’ carbs give you a glimpse of energy before disappearing. When seeking out carbs, shoot for the whole grains—they are stacked with the right carbs. Oatmeal, wheat bread, some cereals are all excellent sources of whole grains. Dairy also isn’t short of ‘good’ carbs, so don’t be afraid to count on milk or yogurt. A fruit’s carb quality depends on the fruit. Usually, it turns out to be a mix. There is nothing wrong with eating fruit before a workout, but it may be wiser to eat it right before or even on the way to the gym. They are usually full of other valuable nutrients that are beneficial to the body, and you can take advantage of that fact, along with delighting in the carbs they provide. Basically, when it comes to a pre-workout meal you want a healthy balance of foods that trend towards being low in fat. Too much fat will make you feel sluggish, and you don’t want that if you’re planning on pumping some iron. You should make reading labels a habit—it will lead to the right decisions. *Greek yogurt is a type of yogurt that has twice the amount of protein. It is generally more expensive.