Knowing what to eat before a workout is very important. Almost every single article online says that we should be eating protein and complex carbs before a workout. In this article we will discuss what to eat before a workout.
Before I answer the main topic, I have to indicate that the digestion time of each macro:
- fats takes almost 4 hours
- pre-digested protein such as hydrolyzed whey or amino acids takes 1 – 1.5 hours
- normal whey protein takes 2 to 2.5 hours
- simple sugar such as glucose and table sugar take 30 minutes
- complex carbs start entering the blood in 30 min but it might take 2-3 hours
With this information we know that we shouldn’t have fats part of our workout meal. If the meal is less than 4 hours before the workout.
Muscle building vs Fat loss
Your fitness goal will actually affect the portion of or your pre-workout meal. So if you’re bulking you it will make more logic to make your increase the calories in your pre-workout meal whereas if your goal is to lose fat, its logical to decrease the calories.
If you’re focusing on nutritional value
From a nutritional perspective, the best food to eat before a workout are probably complex carbs mixed with proteins 2-3 hours before your workout. Like eating a scoop of protein powder mixed with 50 grams of oats. Just be sure that you’re resting at least 24 hours between workouts and that you’re eating properly throughout the day.
If your focus is performance
If you’re focus is to lift more weights and last longer in the gym, then at this point we really shouldn’t care about nutrition. So the best food to eat before a workout is sugar 10-20 minutes before your workout on an empty stomach. I usually go for 60 grams of Jelly beans, 10-20 mins before my workout, and if my workout exceeds 1 hour i take another dose of jelly beans.
Focusing on performance is more beneficial over time
From my own experience, i found out that eating jellybeans everyday before my workout on empty stomach has helped me improve my performance in the gym and get even more shredded in Summer. In a nutshell, sugar is the fuel of the muscle. And when the muscle is well fed, it performs better and grows better.
Timing the sugar before and during workout is beneficial specially for athletes. ( it’s a common practice you should google it )
So In cutting seasons even when I’m doing low carbs and sugars, i still have my jellybeans before my workout. You can check my diet for December 2020 here .
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t prioritize performance over nutrition if you’re diabetic or if you have pre-existing health issues