Optimizing Pre-Workout Nutrition: What and When to Eat and What to Avoid
Fueling your body correctly before a workout can make the difference between a session to be proud of and one to forget.
Our guide can help you decide if you need fuel, what to eat and what to avoid for peak performance during your training.
Tips for Pre-Workout Nutrition
- Consume 5-6g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight daily.
- Choose complex carbs like whole grains two to three hours before a session.
- For a quick energy boost before a workout, choose simple carbs such as Neversecond or Veloforte energy bars, or a banana an hour before, or a Neversecond or Veloforte gel thirty minutes before.
Smart Carb Loading:
- Save carb loading for longer sessions or bigger weekends, a balanced diet provides sufficient carbs.
- Experiment with foods and timing to find your ideal pre-workout routine, crucial for race preparation.
Avoid Spicy and High-Fiber Foods:
- Steer clear of spicy foods close to intense sessions to prevent digestive discomfort.
- Limit high-fiber foods very close to exercise to avoid unwanted effects.
- Stay well-hydrated throughout the week, as dehydration can impact performance.
- Drink fluids regularly and take water with you during workouts.
Best Times to Eat Before Different Workouts
Easy Sessions (Up to 60 minutes):
- Your last meal's fuel may suffice; for an energy boost, consider a low-fibre snack an hour before.
Sessions Over 60 Minutes:
- Consume a pre-workout snack or small meal with around 30g of carbs to sustain energy levels.
- Prioritize simple carbs an hour pre-workout for high-intensity sessions.
Early Morning Workouts:
- For workouts under an hour, glycogen stores can suffice; for longer sessions, opt for easily digestible options.
- Stick to familiar foods; experiment with nutrition during training to develop a strategy.
- Eat within 30 minutes of a long or intense session for stable blood sugar levels and kickstarting recovery.
- Choose foods with carbs and combine them with protein for glycogen replenishment, muscle recovery and consistent training (next session).
- In hot weather or after excessive sweating, replenish lost sodium with electrolyte-rich options.
Remember, finding the right pre-workout nutrition is personal. Experiment with timings and foods to discover what fuels your body best. Keep a record of what works for you and enjoy the process—after all, food is meant to be enjoyed.