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Pre – Workout Nutrition

How many times have you worked out on an empty stomach or after quickly eating a couple of cheeseburgers from your favorite fast food restaurant? You have probably done this more than once and had lackluster workouts as a result. What you eat before training makes the difference between a workout that results in new muscle; less fat, and increased strength or one that leaves you feeling like nothing was accomplished.

After reading this article you will have the information you need so you always have the perfect pre-workout meal that leaves you ready to hit the gym full of energy.

Pre – Workout Nutrition

The meal prior to your workout needs to be digested quickly, provide the fuel to help you go the distance, and supply the right nutrients so your body is able to recover and grow. This makes a meal replacement powder a better choice than solid foods since solid foods take longer to digest. You can’t use just any meal replacement powder. The product needs to contain the right types of carbohydrates and protein in the proper ratios.

Carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body and quickly available as an energy source such as glucose and maltodextrin should be what’s in your drink. This will ensure that you don’t run out of energy and “bonk” toward the end of your workout. These carbohydrates will also help decrease cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is increased during exercise, and when increased for prolonged periods of time will increase fat storage and muscle catabolism.

The best type of protein for the perfect pre-workout meal is whey. Whey protein, a by-product of cheese manufacturing is the best type of protein since it is quickly absorbed by the body and contains a large amount of branched chain amino acids.

This means your muscles will be protected from being used as fuel during your workout and will be primed with the nutrients they need to recover and grow after your workout is over. In addition to helping your muscles grow, the branched chain amino acids found in whey protein have also been shown in scientific studies to help decrease body fat, especially in the abdominal region.

Pre - Workout Nutrition

A good pre-workout meal replacement will should have added branched chain amino acids to really take advantage of their muscle-building and fat-burning benefits. We do not recommend that the meal replacement powder used in the pre-workout meal be high in fat, as this will slow the absorption of carbohydrate and protein by the body.

Now that you know what should be in your pre-workout meal it is time to discuss the optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio for your pre-workout meal and exactly when you should drink your shake. When building muscle and losing body fat are your goals, your pre-workout drink should use a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Extra carbohydrates are not needed since your workout shouldn’t last longer than 1 hour and will not be completely depleting your body’s glycogen stores.

You don’t want the amount of protein to exceed this ratio since it will offset the hormonal environment the 2:1 ratio will promote. Since this meal will be quickly absorbed, you want to drink it 30-60 minutes prior to training. Drinking it more than 60 minutes pre-workout may cause you to “crash’ during your workout and drinking it less than 30 minutes pre-workout may cause cramping or stomach upset while you train.

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