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Proper Nutrition Before Exercise


The question of what to eat before the big game has dogged athletes for centuries. Consuming just the right combination of foods to provide the big burst for the winning score has been an inexact science examined by numerous health professionals. Eating (and drinking) correctly before participating in a strenuous event is not only critical to success on the gridiron or basketball court, but is important to anyone wanting to engage in everyday workouts at the local health club or home gym.  The practices that go into a good pre workout routine will benefit everyone from professional athletes to those just wanting to hit the gym one or two days a week. While there is no magic formula of foods, some guidelines can be established that will serve to provide adequate fuel for workouts. A balance must be found between eating too much food and not eating enough; the correct energy providing snacks must be consumed to provide necessary amounts of stamina.

Ensuring proper hydration before engaging in any physical activity is a must. Drinking Gatorade can provide carbohydrates and electrolytes that are extremely useful during demanding work out routines, and of course water has no substitutes when it comes to properly hydrating one’s body. Maintaining proper fluids in our body is critical to getting the most out of your physical fitness endeavors.  It is ideal to drink anywhere between 16 to 20 ounces of water in the hour or two prior to the work out.  Continuing to drink during exercise is beneficial and will keep thirst quenched. It is a smart move to avoid gorging water right before the work out is underway; the feeling of hastily downed water sloshing around while on a bike ride is quite the unpleasant sensation.

Exercising on an empty stomach is unwise and should be avoided as a rule of thumb. The feelings of weakness that occur as a result of going too long without eating make an effective workout much more difficult to achieve.  However, it also bears keeping in mind that eating too soon before hitting the gym can cause stomach cramps and other deleterious side effects. It is ideal to eat snacks high in carbohydrates two hours before hitting the weights or treadmill. Having unsettled food in the stomach while on a jog is even less desirable than the aforementioned sloshing water.

Carbs provide your body with an excellent source of energy that proves highly beneficial by making work outs more productive. Examples of foods that provide sufficient carbohydrate intake are baked potatoes, oatmeal, rice, blueberry muffins, and white bread; 40 to 100 grams of these carbs are an ideal number to aim for.  Pastas are also a crucial component of a pre work out diet, providing a consistent source of carbs for a boost during repetitions or laps on the track. Energy gels and fresh fruits can be consumed within an hour before beginning the work out, but these are some of the few exceptions to eating within sixty minutes of undertaking strenuous activities.

Maintaining proper blood sugar levels during exercise is undermined by eating candy bars or other sugars prior to the work out. This is not beneficial despite appearing to be an ideal way to gain a quick rush of energy; lower blood sugar levels occur as a result of doing this. In addition to candy bars, fatty foods are not recommended eating before engaging in a work out.

Keeping a discerning eye on what is digested before a work out is an important aspect of maintaining maximum performance. Making sure that the food’s intake is well timed will ensure that boosts of energy kick in at just that right time. Consuming the correct foods and simultaneously avoiding eating too much is vital to getting the most out of time at the gym.  Finding the right balance can result in excellent outcomes for those who want to be in the best shape of their lives.