Sports Nutrition – eating before exercise

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.

Slow release is best

 

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..

 

We work from BourneFit Personal Training Studio in Bournemouth, offering a professional service including Personal Training, Weight Loss and Sports Massage.  Visit us at www.bourne-fit.co.uk

The best foods to eat before training

Regular exercise should be a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.  In some cases we invest a lot of time money and commitment in training, so it is important to get the food right.  Here we will cover the very basics of what is a major part of Sports Nutrition.

Don’t Panic!  

A lot of people worry they need to eat certain foods in order to exercise well.  An hour before training working up a frenzy of bananas, sports drink and water.  The other main fear is eating too much before training and feeling ill as a result.  This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Enough fuel in the furnace

With trying to lose weight in particular a lack of calories can be a problem –  this can lead to dizziness and poor energy during exercise.  Which equals a poor workout and less than optimum results.

The best approach

Eating a normal diet for most people works the best.  We should generally be eating slow release foods and this is certainly what you want to happen for training – the energy needs to be releasing slowly.  Just be thoughtful in approach.  Some slow release carbs need to be eaten in the last main meal before training.

How soon before

The guideline for food is a small meal 1-2 hours before or a main meal 3-4 hours works for most of us.  Play with this to see what works best for you.

And in emergencies

Skipped lunch due to a meeting?  Rushing around with no water all day.  If you are on the way to training with an empty tank try orange juice, raisins, a banana or jam on toast (all pure fast release carbs) and plenty of water.

 

The author: Simon Lesser is a Personal Trainer in Bournemouth, Dorset.  For more info contact us on 07748 914368 – or visit www.simonlesser.co.uk for more information.