What we eat in the lead up to an all important workout or even competition is essential. A good meal leaves us full of energy that lasts as long as comfortable. Get the pre training meal wrong and it can be catastrophic. Here we will look at some theory behind whats best and offer some ideas.
In fact, slow release is best for most of us, most of the time. Foods releasing energy slowly keep us fuller and more energized on a regular basis. An hour workout can be quite demanding so sustained release here is essential.
Timing, timing, timing
General advice is a larger meals 3-4 hours before or smaller meals 1-2 hours before exercise. We also need to consider the content of the meal that has been consumed to how long to leave it. Higher fat or protein meals take longer to release. This can be used to our advantage, by adding higher fat or protein foods to pre workout meals, we create a sustained release!
Foods to try
Don’t change anything too drastically, stick to normal choices. Porridge is perfect in the mornings, though you need an hour or 2 for it to digest. Your normal lunch or dinner will work just fine. A mix of carbs (rice or vegetables) with protein (meat, fish, beans or eggs) works well.
Add plenty of carbs for energy, but also some protein in there. Presence of amino acids (small protein units) in the body has a good link to better performance and recovery.
Coffee is also a favourite among many within an hour of training for that extra kick!
In case of emergencies
It’s the final hour, you are really stuck, sat in meetings all day or in the car grab some fruit juice, dried fruit, or sports drink with plenty of water (and coffee). This can often be much better than nothing.
It’s kinda personal
This is a personal thing as to what works best. It is worth using the guidelines above but experimenting with what food types and timing work the best for you. Some people prefer a large meal, others can barely stomach a banana, so see be willing to test..