Pre-exercise meals should contain adequate amounts of carbohydrate to maximize muscle and liver glycogen stores and maintain normal blood glucose levels.
A meal should contain 1 to 4.5 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight and be consumed 1 to 4 hours prior to exercise.
Consuming carbohydrate immediately before exercise (about 15 to 30 minutes prior to the start) provides an advantage because it gives muscles an immediate source of energy (glucose) and spares glycogen stores, which allows you to exercise for a longer duration or at a higher intensity without your body becoming tired as quickly.
Carbohydrate intake prior to the start of exercise can also help reduce muscle damage by causing the release of insulin, which promotes muscle protein synthesis.
Just as the body needs a continuous supply of carbohydrate, it also needs moderate amounts of protein throughout the day.
Timing protein intake around activity will have a significant impact on muscle preservation, growth, and recovery.
Meals with both protein and carbohydrates before exercise benefit the body by increasing muscle glycogen synthesis.
The more glycogen within the muscles, the longer you can train.
In fact, you are able to store more glycogen the more you train!
Another benefit of consuming both protein and carbohydrates before exercise is that it results in greater protein synthesis after exercise than with protein or carbohydrates alone.
The making of new body proteins, including muscle, is necessary for optimal fitness and muscle preservation, repair, and growth.
This is why a higher protein synthesis is of high priority.
Further, the more carbohydrates available, the more energy available before the body begins using protein as a source of energy. This allows for greater muscle preservation.
Foods with a higher fat content take longer to digest than foods that are higher in carbohydrate and protein, and can lead to feelings of sluggishness or discomfort.
This can impair performance, and high-fat foods should generally be consumed several hours before exercise.
Of course this is a general guideline, and not all active people who consume higher fat foods before exercise experience difficulty.
Another suggestion that can help improve performance is supplementing creatine monohydrate.
Creatine is one of the most well-known dietary supplements in the fitness industry today.
In the early 19905, research revealed that creatine supplementation increased creatine stores in the muscles (in the form of creatine phosphate), which increased the amount of ATP generated and improved performance during high-intensity, short-duration exercise.
When the body relies on anaerobic energy metabolism, creatine has shown to improve performance.
In addition, creatine supplementation has been shown to increase muscle strength and muscle mass.
This energy source can also be muscle preserving, allowing the muscle to work harder and preventing reversibility, and keep your body from burning protein as a source of energy.
For those who have trouble with holding water from creatine, micronized creatine might work better in keeping the water weight off.
Caffeine used to be considered by athletes mostly in the context of-its effect on exercise duration.
Today, caffeine has gained popularity as an ergogenic aid among athletes, trainers, and coaches.
Caffeine may decrease perception of effort by stimulating the central nervous system, directly affect the breakdown of muscle glycogen, and increase the availability of fatty acids during exercise, therefore sparing glycogen stores.
Once again, this can be muscle sparing.
Studies on the effects of caffeine on exercise have shown that caffeine enhances athletic performance, mostly during endurance events.
However, research has not shown that caffeine provides any benefit during short-duration activities, such as sprinting.
Although caffeine and creatine monohydrate are not necessary tools in pre-exercise nutrition, all of the above can be used as an arsenal to perform in the gym.
My Signature Method, Your Signature Move!