In this article I want to address your pre-workout meal and how that can potentially have a MASSIVE effect on performance, recovery and your general feeling during the workout. Focusing on your calorie and macro intake alone won't enable you to maximise your performance.
For this reason I want to see if there are any potential changes you can make with your pre-workout meal to accelerate your progress. The pre-workout window is one area I really feel you need to get right, otherwise you're not going to get ahead.
Pick easily digesting food
The first key thing you need to consider with your pre workout meal is how easy it is for your body to breakdown, assimilate and digest. This is absolutely critical because when you train you will experience an elevation in cortisol which will in turn shut down your gut, making it very difficult for your body to process food at this time. As a result you need something which is very easy for the body to break down quickly. Usually fish or even poultry is a good option because they are relatively easy for the body to break down in comparison to something like steak for instance.
If your body isn't able to break the food down quickly enough you're going to be in a position whereby its still sat in your gut, making you feel very lethargic which will only detract from your intensity.
Control your blood sugar levels
Something else you need to really focus on is how your pre workout meal effects your blood sugar levels and general energy output during the workout. For example, you don't want something which causes a big spike in blood sugar levels for you to then experience a crash half way through your workout. This will only cause you to feel tired, under perform and ultimately fail to progress as you'd like to. You need slow and sustainable energy, which is where managing your diet and including enough fibre throughout the day, some healthy fats and opting for lower GI carbs really matters.
Overall amino acid profiles
You need to ensure that the quality of protein you're ingesting are very high to combat catabolism and to allow for fast recovery after your workout. You need something rich in leucine with a broad cross-section of amino acids, which is why I do like fish or poultry. Sometimes resorting to a multi-blend protein in your pre workout meal with oats for instance can also be another option. What this will do is help your muscles avoid being broken down excessively during the workout and recover quicker afterwards.
As a final consideration for your pre workout meal you need to think about when you're going to eat it, in relation to your workout starting. You want a minimum of 60 minutes between your pre workout meal and workout, ideally 90 minutes.
Written by Neil Hill - Y3TDisciple.com