Do you know a perfect pre-workout meal can power your fitness regimen? Do not worry if you are clueless about what type of foods to eat before your workout for weight loss. This article will explore the best foods and drinks you should eat before a workout to fast-track your weight loss and other benefits.
What Is A Pre-Workout Meal, And Why Is It Essential?
A pre-workout meal consists of foods and beverages containing essential nutrients and minerals to give your body the optimum levels of energy and strength required for working out. (1) A pre-workout meal is essential for improving gym performance and achieving desired weight loss results, so a careful selection is crucial. Fatigue during a workout can be due to your body not having enough fuel to perform. That’s why you need to consume a healthy pre-workout diet to up your energy levels and perform a vigorous training session.
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What Are The Benefits Of A Pre-Workout Meal?
There are numerous benefits of having a pre-workout meal, which includes-
Fuels Your Workout:
When you are exercising, you are draining your body’s energy. So, having a pre-meal before the workout is the best way to provide your body with the extra shot of energy it needs, especially for performing a high-intensity workout.
You could end up feeling tired, dizzy and distracted if you don’t get enough nutrition before your workout. So, having food before a workout provides you with the necessary macronutrients to focus on your performance and optimise your calorie burn while exercising.
Aids Post-Workout Recovery:
Have a pre-workout meal packed with proteins to aid tissue repair and faster recovery after a strenuous workout.
Helps In Muscle Building:
When you are working out, you may want to build muscles and lose weight. A pre-workout protein meal is rich in amino acids needed for muscle synthesis, repair, maintenance and growth.
Prevents Muscle Breakdown:
If your body doesn’t get enough nutrition before the workout, it starts converting your muscle tissue into energy which is undesirable. To ensure that you lose fat and not muscle mass while working out, make sure you have a healthy pre-workout meal.
Now you know how a pre-workout meal can make a significant difference in your fitness journey. Let us now read about the must-have foods in your pre-workout meal plan.
What Type of Food To Eat Before Workout?
The best pre-workout diet depends on your individual preference, age, sex, health, nutritional requirements, weight loss goals and the type of workout you perform. If you are planning for a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout, eating a combination of carbohydrates and proteins will provide you with the optimum energy levels for a power-packed workout.
For those working to lose fat, a light pre-workout meal or a snack low in fat will do the needful. If you want to gain muscle, have a pre-workout meal with complex carbohydrates.
Both men and women have different calorie requirements. Let us discuss in detail the best pre-workout meal plan ideal for both men and women to aid weight loss –
Pre-Workout Food For Men
The best pre-workout food categories for men include-
This food group is the primary energy source for the body, and it is advisable to eat carbohydrate-dense foods at least an hour before the workout. The body depletes energy faster than usual while performing intense HIIT and resistance training workouts and needs fast-absorbing carbs to fuel muscle fibres. You may have oats, low-calorie smoothies, banana with peanut butter, low-fat granola bar and nuts.
For building muscles, a protein-rich pre-workout diet helps build, strengthen and repair your muscles during training and improve performance. You can munch on protein bars, lean meats, scrambled eggs and toast with low-fat cheese to drive your fitness regimen to the next level.
Incorporating healthy fats by including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as almonds, chia seeds, and other nuts can help prevent muscle breakdown during workouts and improve endurance.
Pre Workout Food For Women
Experts recommend that all women exercising to lose weight add loads of calcium and iron in their pre-workout meals. They can choose a pre-workout diet rich in carbohydrates and proteins but low in fat to boost energy levels, essential for a healthy weight loss. They can include low-fat yoghurt with fruits, oatmeal with banana and almonds, green apples, poached chicken with sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds in their pre-workout diet plan for weight loss.
Now you know the recommended foods you must have before a workout. With this knowledge of pre-workout meals, you should also pay attention to the gap between your meal and workout.
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When Should You Eat Before A Workout For Weight Loss?
The timing of your pre-workout meal is also crucial for weight loss. Here’s what you should eat and when-
Pre-Workout Meal/Snacks For An Early Morning Workout:
It is best to have a light meal or snacks containing highly digestible carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (GI) for quick energy if your workout starts within an hour or takes place in the morning.
Pre-Workout Meal For An Evening Workout:
Before an evening workout, make sure you consume a mix of carbs and proteins to refuel your muscles and aid their recovery. Choose simple carbs and high-quality proteins.
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Remember, a proper pre-workout meal is essential to fuel your body for longer workout sessions to achieve weight loss. Apart from the macronutrients such as carbs and proteins, your body also needs good hydration for enhanced performance and quick recovery. So, seek professional advice from a nutritionist to start planning your pre-workout meals and make your workout more efficient to shed those extra kilos faster than before.
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