Feeling tired? Exhausted or Sluggish during your workout?
If you feel so, then you might not be eating properly
Although people have adequate knowledge on the need for good nutrition and food, they often forget how important it is to have a meal before they start with their workout. This is termed as pre-workout nutrition.
So what is pre-workout nutrition?
Pre workout nutrition as the name suggests, refers to the food consumed prior to a workout session, it can vary anywhere from less than 30 mins to more than 2 hours. It gives your body enough nutrients before starting workout to sustain you throughout the activity
1. Provides Energy:
Eating a good carbohydrate and protein rich meal before your workout helps in making you feel energetic throughout and would never let you give up mid way.
2. Prevents muscle breakdown:
When your body doesn’t have adequate energy, it starts to break down your muscles to support the on-going activity and ends up giving you fatigue and pain.
3. Increases muscle size:
A pre workout meal not only fuels the workout but also gives the body the chance to retain the protein and increase muscle size by getting into a state of anabolism.
4. Prevents fatigue and muscle soreness:
The most common cause of muscle soreness and fatigue is the lack of adequate food intake, once corrected you will not feel weak or have any pain during or after your workout.
5. Improve glycogen stores:
Glycogen is the body’s storage tank of energy, so having a "pre workout meal" not only increases your muscle and liver glycogen stores but also replaces the glycogen that has already been lost. Therefore, providing the energy you need while you workout.
What does your body exactly need prior to a workout?
Experts recommend a meal with a combination of carbohydrates and protein to be taken before an activity. While carbohydrates provide energy and replenish glycogen stores, protein helps in improving muscle recovery, prevents breakdown of muscles for energy and also helps to perform better.
Here are some common Indian foods that make a great pre-workout meal to be taken 1-3 hours before you start your workout.
Aloo and paneer cutlets Idli and sambar Chicken momos
Egg/Paneer burji sandwich Curd with fruits Pongal/ khichidi
Mango badam lassi Peanut chikki Dhokla
Kheer Oats with milk Peanut butter sandwich
Pre-workout foods are extremely beneficial and fuel up your workout. In some cases one may not be able to have a pre-workout meal. This could be due to various reasons and the most common being the work schedule of professionals that stop them from having 5-6 meals a day. If you are unable to have a pre-workout meal, you can have a supplement which will help you fuel your workout.