Pre-workout nutrition in bodybuilding

Nutrition before training during a set of muscle mass should contain carbohydrates, proteins, while it is necessary to limit the fat content (preferably no more than 3-5 grams).

Take food before the start of the training process should be no later than 60-90 minutes before it starts (depending on the digestibility of food). It is not recommended to attend a workout on an empty stomach. But a full stomach will also interfere with the full performance of exercises, problems such as reflux of food contents, nausea and decreased endurance may occur.

Pre-workout carbohydrates are needed to load up the glycogen stores that will be required for production during training. The accepted proteins will be used by the body as sources of amino acids for working muscles, creating the so-called anabolic “premise”. Fats in the pre-workout diet should be absent, because fat in food slows down the emptying of the stomach and the rate of absorption of other nutrients. Fatty foods last longer in the stomach, and for this reason can cause discomfort, lethargy, colic, nausea, and belching.

Pre-workout Foods

Below are examples that combine protein and carbohydrate foods, and you can alternate between these options depending on your taste preferences:

  • Poultry meat (turkey, chicken breast) with coarse bread or rice or pasta
  • Low-fat fish and potatoes
  • Lean meat with potatoes or pasta
  • Eggs with porridge
  • Cottage cheese with bread

The amount of food you eat should be small, like an average breakfast. If you don’t feel heavy and full in your stomach at the start of your workout, then the amount of food you ate was normal.

Pre-workout meals should include approximately 20 grams of protein and 40-60 grams of slow carbs.

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Pre-workout Protein

Protein shake is absorbed much faster than regular food. Therefore, when gaining weight, an additional intake of 20 g of protein or a portion of gainer is practiced 1 hour before the start of training. It is also advisable to take 5-8 g of BCAA immediately before training (in extreme cases, for an hour together with protein). Thus, the muscles will be fully provided with the necessary amount of amino acids during physical activity.

Morning trainingsessions

When training is carried out early in the morning, it is recommended to drink a portion of fast protein (approximately 20-30 g) and 5-8 g of BCAA for maximum effect immediately after bedtime. At the same time, you can add 10-20 g of fast carbohydrates to increase endurance. Also, a gainer + BCAA is quite suitable. Conventional foods are less preferable in this situation, as they will take longer to digest. Among the fast-digested food sources of protein, lean meat and boiled eggs can be distinguished.

Then, after the end of the lesson, a dense protein-carbohydrate breakfast should follow.

Read also: Morning workouts

Pre-workout Nutrition for Weightloss

Just like when gaining muscle mass, with a decrease in body fat, you need to eat before training no later than at least 2 hours before it starts, while the amount of carbohydrates is reduced to 15-20 g, and the amount of protein to 10-15 g. Take only complex carbohydrates (vegetables, cereals, wholemeal bread, pasta made from wholemeal flour, etc.). Before morning training, it is enough to consume 15-20 g of quickly digested protein immediately after bedtime. For additional muscle protection, you can add 5 g of BCAA.

If you don’t eat right before you start training, you won’t be able to achieve a high level of intensity, as your body won’t be able to produce the right amount of energy. If you take a large amount of food or eat right before a workout, then you will spend mainly food energy during it, and not fat reserves.

Studies show that fasting before exercise increases the mobilization of fatty acids and the activity of brown fat.