When you are looking to lose fat, one of the best ways to do so is through your nutrition, and pre-workout meals are a large part of your diet. This is why you will often see professionals including pre-workout bars in their nutrition plans.1 The purpose of these bars or stacks is twofold. First of all, they provide an energy source so that you can get through your workouts. They also will fill you up so you are satisfied so you don’t feel like you are just going through the motions at the gym.
When you eat pre-workout meals, the energy you get will go towards boosting your strength and endurance levels.2 There are two types of nutrients you should be aware of when it comes to pre-workout nutrition. One of them is carbs, which is your body’s primary source of energy. Other sources of carbs come from fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Fruits and vegetables are your best bet for carbs because they are low in fat, have low sugar levels, and high water content, so your body can better use it for other purposes.3
If you’re a bodybuilder or gym-goer, you know that the pre-workout meal is key to maximizing your workout. It’s not just about eating anything either – some types of carbs are better than others for energy and muscle development. Here’s a quick rundown on what carbo types are best for your workout!
What is a Pre-Workout Meal?
Most bodybuilders want to cut back on fats and calories so the focus has become on cutting down on the amount of saturated fat that is consumed and replacing it with lower-calorie/carb meals that will supply the body with fuel for building and muscle growth. Many bodybuilders and fitness experts recommend that the diet alone should not be done before the exercise because the diet can be used as an aid to help fuel and boost the exercise sessions.4 As many other fitness experts recommend the diet should be combined with some form of moderate exercise to maximize its effect.
A pre-workout meal is just what it sounds like, a meal consumed prior to or after workouts. It’s a good idea to consume foods that are rich in carbs, proteins, and fats since these are essential ingredients in your diet to allow you to train optimally. If you’re looking to build muscle and lose fat, your diet should contain plenty of carbs, good fats, and lots of protein. There are also certain pre-workout supplements that contain essential nutrients that are beneficial to your body during your workout so make sure to find out which ones your preferred nutrition company sells and then buy them to support your workouts.
The Benefits of Pre-Workout Meals
It is always beneficial to eat a small nutritious meal before hitting the weights or performing your exercises. A pre-workout meal can be something that is high in protein such as a whey protein shake, tuna salad, or even a piece of fruit.5 Some athletes like to snack on some chocolate prior to their training session. No matter the time of day that you are pre-workout it is important to have your nutrition ahead of time so that you have the energy and strength necessary for your training.6
Another pre-workout meal benefit is the increase in your energy and stamina. You will find that you are able to lift more weight, do more repetitions, and finish your training session feeling much better than if you were not having any pre-workout meals prior to your workout. Having the proper amount of nutrition will also give your body the fuel that it needs to build muscle and repair your body with optimal efficiency. The healthy eating benefits of a pre-workout meal don’t stop there. Your muscles will also repair faster when they are provided with the nutrients they need prior to the workout. This will also benefit you in your recovery time between training sessions.
When you eat a healthy eating meal before your workout, your body will have the necessary fuel reserves to allow you to push through the intense physical activity or exercise that you are doing. There will also be fewer insulin levels in your blood because your body will use the healthy eating benefits of pre-workout meals as an energy source to fuel your muscles. If you are looking to lose weight, pre-workout meals are a must!
Lastly, but definitely one of the most important pre-workout benefits is that you will have the ability to have a more intense and beneficial workout.7 This means that you will be able to lift more weight, complete more repetitions, and complete the workout longer. This will leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the next workout. The results from this will be gains in your physique, but it will also result in an overall sense of well-being. The healthier you are before the workout, the better your chances are of performing at your maximum potential. So pre-workout meals are not only for weight loss purposes but also for your overall bodybuilding and fitness needs.
When you incorporate any of these pre-workout meals into your workouts you will be taking advantage of the benefits of a pre-workout meal. These pre-workout meals are designed to help you create the proper nutritional environment for a productive and energetic workout. These foods are also great for helping your stomach reach full capacity, so you can then complete the rest of your workout.8
What Are Complex Carbohydrates?
What are complex carbs? They are carbs that have a high amount of fiber in them and a low amount of starch in them. Starchy carbs like potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta are what we call “complex” carbs.9
There are just so many different diets out on the web today. But the one thing that they all talk about is simple and complex carbs, mainly bread and potatoes. These diets always say that carbs are evil and should be avoided. If you need to lose weight then cut out your carbs intake; it’s that simple. The problem with these diets is that they focus on only carbs and do not give you any other type of nutrient that your body needs. These types of nutrients can be found in whole-grain foods just like brown rice, barley, and oats, and even in fruits and vegetables.10
What Are Simple Carbohydrates?
When we say simple carbs what comes to mind is usually refined flour products like white bread or pastries. However, these products are actually simple because they lack the fibrous content that real carbohydrates have. Refined flour is made up of a lot of simple sugars and starches which aren’t simple carbs at all. The reason that they’re not simple carbs is that they lack fiber which is what your body really needs. In reality, you can find a lot of health benefits from refined carbs as long as you make the right choices.
Most people think that just because they say they have ‘complex’ or ‘refined’ in the name that they’re less likely to be beneficial to you.11 However, the simple answer really is no, they just aren’t made equal. There are actually two kinds of simple carbs: simple and complex. Complex carbs can usually be found unrefined in their entire natural state with their own fiber already in them. And they’re considered to be the good carbs that your body can utilize for energy
Simple carbs, on the other hand, are digested too quickly and turn into glucose fairly quickly. This makes them harder to break down and burns them for only energy lasting a couple of minutes at most. While this means that they can keep you going for a while, it also means that you must eat a lot of simple carbs (i.e. plenty of fruits and vegetables) in order to have enough energy to exercise or do physical activities.12
Why Are Simple Carbohydrates Better To Eat Before A Workout?
There has been much discussion on the subject of simple carb diets. Many people have had success and have lost weight by sticking to their simple carb pre-workout meal with simple carbs before a workout routine. There are many benefits to this type of diet plan; the first being that it will help you stick to your diet.13 Many people get off track when they are dieting, especially when they feel like they are not getting the amount of food that they need. This can lead to binge eating, which leads to weight gain and all kinds of health problems.
Another benefit to this type of diet is that it will make your muscles burn more fat during your workout routine. When you eat a pre-workout meal with simple carbs before a workout, your body will transition to using carbohydrates for energy instead of fat.14 This means that you will lose weight because your body will be using simple carbohydrates as an energy source. Many people do not realize that when they are dieting they should be eating more simple carbs to provide their body with more energy to help them workout harder.
The last benefit of eating a pre-workout meal with simple carbs before a workout is that it will give you more time to focus on eating healthy. By doing this, you will be eating healthy and losing weight while finding the time to focus on eating healthy and losing weight.
Fitness Standard / 2021
SlidePlayer / 2014
Well+Good / August 29, 2018
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12 “Simple carbs vs. complex carbs: What’s the difference?.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325171 Accessed 14 Jul. 2021.
13 “Carbohydrates: Uses, health benefits, nutrition, and risks.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161547 Accessed 14 Jul. 2021.
14 “What Are the Benefits of Eating Simple Carbohydrates?.” https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-simple-carbohydrates-11468.html Accessed 14 Jul. 2021.