Fueling your body appropriately around training can make quite a difference on your training, recovery and stamina throughout the training session. So today I want to discuss nutrition prior to exercise.
Prior to training, I always focus on a combined protein and carbohydrate source around 1 hour before the session begins. Why? Well think about it this way. Say you decided to drive from Brisbane to Sydney, and you decided not to fill up your car with fuel, how far do you think you would get? Probably not a very far away! The same goes for training, if you haven’t eaten anything in a few hours, or if you did eat and it was something low in carbs. I guarantee you will only hit your training session hard for a very short time period, maybe one or two movements of your strength work, or get halfway through a cardio piece and feel like giving up? Does that sound familiar?
If you do not fuel your body and prepare it for your exercise a couple things will happen.
- You will not burn as many calories on a full tank of food rather than empty. The more energy you have the longer the intensity of the session will remain. The faster you will run, concentrating will become easier, weights will not feel as heavy because you have a greater capacity to move it.
- The harder you work the more muscle cells you will damage. This means when you refuel your body post training you will have the opportunity to increase muscle mass and it will also be of a better quality. The more muscle mass you have the faster your metabolism will be and the more you can eat 😉 WINNING!
The types of food I like to suggest prior to training are typically Low GI, which means the carbohydrate is digested slowly in order to give the body a nice sustained fuel source.
- Muesli (carbohydrate) and Chobani (protein) plain yoghurt – add a tsp of honey if you do not like the tart taste of the yoghurt
- Tuna/salmon/chicken breast (protein) sandwich – wholegrain (carbohydrate)
- 1-2 Raisin toast + 100g of low fat cottage cheese
- Homemade protein balls – protein, dates, nuts and fruit
- Oats with sultanas, honey, low fat milk and small serve of protein powder
- Large piece of fruit (mango/banana/apple/pear) + a protein shake or
If you are someone who trains first thing in the morning – try a piece of toast or piece of fruit! Last resort drink your carbs instead (100% juice/coconut water/smoothie)
Pick an option that works for you, have it an hour prior to exercise if you can and I guarantee if you do not normally have much prior, you will see a big difference in your training session!