Workouts involve hard work. There is no doubt about that. Not only is it time-consuming, but it also causes muscle cramps and leaves your body smelling like goat cheese. All these factors might leave you wondering why you even need to bother about exercising. That said, there are so many benefits relating to working out, and the most obvious advantage being good health. People who regularly use can maintain a good weight and hence positively contribute to their general health.
In fact, some people love the gym so much that they can’t imagine a life without regular trips to the gym. One thing that affects people when they exercise is the loss of energy.
As you continue to exercise, you may become tired even before finishing your exercise as you had planned. The lack of or the loss of energy during the workout can make people want to stop exercising especially those who didn’t like it I the first place. However, there is no need to worry as this problem can be fixed. One of the ways of ensuring that you have energy as you exercise is to make sure that you have a good meal before you head out to the gym. It is not advisable to exercise on an empty stomach as your body could begin catabolizing and start to devour itself which ends up depleting your energy and strength.
Benefits of a pre-workout meal
As much as eating before starting to exercise is advisable, this does not mean that you go crazy on food. If you do this, you will not be able to exercise, let alone move a muscle as your body will be concentrating on getting all of the food out of your system. To avoid this, make sure that you keep in mind the size of the meal and also the timing. The meals should be half of your regular meal, and it should consist of fats, proteins and carbs. You should not take the meal either too early or too late into the workout. The following are some of the benefits of pre-workout meals.
Reduce the rate of muscle glycogen depletion
As you exercise, your body gets energy from the carbs stored in your muscles. These carbs are known as glycogen. Eating a good pre-workout meal will reduce the rate at which your body consumes this glycogen. It is because, instead of your body depending on the glycogen for energy, it will be using the fresh energy that you have given it.
Promote muscle anabolism
Muscle anabolism is the process whereby your body makes use of the nutrients to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. It is made possible when you eat a pre-workout meal that is rich in proteins. By doing this, your body will be able to restore the levels of glycogen as well as promote better muscle anabolism and protein synthesis.
Even though most people like to limit the amount of fat in their diet, cutting it out can affect athletic performance. Fats act as body fuels. Once the glucose in your body is depleted, your body will turn to fats as the source of energy; therefore, if you are planning to work out for more than two hours, it is important that you incorporate healthy fats in your diet. Sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, olives and olive oil.
Reduce Fatigue and Soreness
Exercising on an empty stomach can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. Just like any machine, this will happen to your body if you don’t give it enough fuel to keep running. Feelings of fatigue and soreness occur when the levels of your body’s energy are low. It happens when your body needs a new round of carbs, fats and proteins which translates to eating a healthy meal. Eating a well-balanced meal before, during and even after the workout will reduce the soreness by minimizing the level of muscle protein degradation caused by workouts and also maximizing muscle protein repair and rebuilding that happens after the exercise.
Sources of quick energy
Every piece of food that we eat has energy that is needed by our body. The amount of power contained in food is expressed in calories. It means that, the more the calories, the more the energy. The following are the types of foods that provide that instant energy boost.
Shredded wheat and cornflakes
You probably have heard the saying that if one overdoes a particular activity, then they must have eaten lots of wheaties. It is because oats and grains are great sources of quick energy. Oats and grains keep the blood sugar level stable by digesting food. By adding milk and fruit to the mix, your body will be able to produce glucose into the bloodstream which acts as fuel to your body.
When it comes to providing energy, fruits like bananas, pineapple, watermelon, mangoes and oranges are capable of providing the small level of energy provided by regular table sugar. However, unlike the common table sugar, these fruits also contain fiber as well as minerals and vitamins which make them a better choice compared to the plain sugar.
Dehydration is one of the causes of low energy. In fact, water is the most important nutrient for our bodies. As you work out, your body loses about 4-8 cups of water through sweating. As you continue to lose water during your workout, you might start feeling dizzy, nauseous or light-headed. These are signs that you are dehydrated. For your body to make energy, you need water.
A poor eating habit not only keeps you unfit, but it also hinders your attempts to stay fit. Best athletes know that eating well-balanced meals right before working out gives the body the much-needed fuel to be able to complete the last sets of squats or the last minutes on the treadmill.
Even though we are all different, the above are some of the foods that you can eat to make sure that you have that much-needed energy to be able to go through the whole workout session. Whether your goal is to increase endurance, build strength or lose weight, you have to ensure that your body gets the fuel it needs.