Many sportsmen take their pre-workout meals very seriously, he believes that this is a key element of good results. But do not forget that the amount of food plays an important role not only before training, but also throughout the day. To feel comfortable during training, organize meals and liquids to provide the body with the right amount of macro- and micronutrients. It is also important when we eat a meal before training.

A meal before training – what to eat and when

Regardless of what goal we want to achieve, whether it is weight loss, increase in muscle mass or work on the sculpture, the basis for satisfactory results is adequate energy supply with a properly balanced diet. It is especially important what meal to eat before the planned physical activity. You should also pay attention to the time of its consumption. If the meal is eaten too early, we may feel hunger during training, which will adversely affect the results of our work. If, on the other hand, we eat too late, it is very likely that unpleasant symptoms such as stomach ache and colic will occur during training. So what should you eat before training? What time should be eaten before the planned activity? Which macronutrient is the most important in the context of the work of our muscles?


In addition to the fact that the meal consumed before training should be properly balanced, it is also important time in which it will be consumed. It is assumed that meals larger by volume should be taken no later than 3 hours before the planned training. Lighter meals can be eaten up to 1-2 hours before training.

The most effective method is to observe your body. In some people, even after eating a small meal, 3 hours before physical activity may have unpleasant symptoms such as stomach ache, colic or nausea. In practice, everything depends on individual conditions. It is worth to use the trial and error method, then you can observe the time after the meal is most comfortable during the workout.

What to eat before training?

Consumption of a meal before planned physical activity is very important. Make sure that the meal is properly balanced. In addition to the fact that the meal should have an appropriate energy value, it is also worth to ensure the correct balance of macroelements, vitamins and minerals. The meal before training is important, its task is to prepare the muscles for physical activity. This meal provides them with the right amount of fuel. Of course, you should also remember about the remaining meals during the day, you should not focus only on pre-workout, because then getting the expected results will be much more difficult. Energy should be delivered to the body throughout the day, not only before the planned activity.

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Particular attention should be paid to the content of carbohydrates when composing a meal before training, because they are the main source of energy for the muscles. It is worth choosing complex carbohydrates such as
– whole-wheat pasta,
– thick cereal groats,
– Brown rice,
– whole wheat bread,
– Oatmeal.

Complex carbohydrates are longer digested by the body, so they provide energy for a long time. The opposite of complex carbohydrates are simple carbohydrates, contained mainly in sweets and fruits. They cause a rapid burst of insulin, which then drops rapidly, and we feel drowsy and weak. Before training, it is worth betting on a meal rich in complex carbohydrates, but simple carbohydrates should be avoided. Regardless of what target we want to achieve – reduction, building muscle mass, carving – the basic macronutrient before planned physical activity should be carbohydrates.

Are slowly digestible carbohydrates better?

As already mentioned, carbohydrates can be divided into complex and simple. This division results from the speed with which they are digested and then converted into sugar absorbed by the body. So it’s better to choose complex carbohydrates because they are digested much longer. Examples are full grains, starchy vegetables and legumes. All carbohydrates are broken down into the glucose needed to produce energy.

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Unfortunately, simple carbohydrates should not be consumed in excess. Part of the energy that arises from their combustion, can turn into fat, which accumulates in the cells of our body. Complex carbohydrates are broken down to glucose much slower than simple carbohydrates, thanks to which the time of energy release increases and the feeling of hunger appears later.

What and when to eat before the morning workout?

The effectiveness of the morning training is largely dependent on what we eat before the planned activity. Unfortunately, controlling the energy value and balance of macroelements in individual meals can be very onerous. Especially in the morning, immediately after waking up, most people have a problem with choosing the right meal. If we choose too large a meal, uncomfortable discomfort will be felt immediately after starting the workout. If we eat too little, we will not have the energy to do the exercises.

A lot of people do morning training on an empty stomach, unfortunately at the expense of exercise during training and during the day. Before training, you just need to get the right dose of protein. Amino acids will contribute to muscle recovery and help regenerate them. Each source of protein will therefore be a good choice before the morning workout. Natural sources such as eggs or poultry can be selected. You can also drink a protein supplement to minimize the risk of discomfort associated with digestion. As already mentioned, complex carbohydrates should be consumed before starting the workout. However, does the same thing look like in the case of a meal before the morning activity?

Of course, it is necessary to provide glucose for proper muscle and brain function. Carbohydrates, which have not been used as fuel, are stored in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles, where they can be used at a later time, when the energy demand will be high. During sleep, the glycogen stores in our body are significantly reduced. In the morning pre-workout meal should be the right dose of carbohydrates. To maximize the energy supply and minimize digestive discomfort, it is worth choosing carbohydrates easily digestible with a small amount of fiber.

So there are no universal recommendations for pre-workout meal intake. It is also difficult to say what specific dish it should be. It’s best to observe your body and determine what meals we show the most efficiency during training.

Do you consume carbohydrates an hour before training?

As already mentioned, carbohydrates are a macronutrient particularly important in the diet of every human being. They are the basic source of energy, and stored in the form of glycogen in muscles and liver affect the efficiency during training. Different types of carbohydrates can induce different reactions of the body, which is why their proper selection in the perinatal diet is particularly important. When choosing products containing carbohydrates, you should use the glycemic index (IG). Products that are characterized by a low glycemic index, affect the slower release of energy, which keeps the feeling of satiety longer. High-IG products quickly increase blood sugar levels, and when you eat them, you quickly feel hunger.

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If after eating a meal an hour before the workout you feel discomfort, you should choose a larger dish 4 hours before the planned activity. About an hour before training, you can refill carbohydrates to avoid fatigue during your activity. It is worth choosing low-carbohydrate carbohydrates, then we should provide energy for intensive training. However, do not overdo it with the amount of this macronutrient. The optimal dose will be approx. 2-2.5 g / kg body weight in a pre-workout meal.

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