Remember everyone's body is different, this isn't a set in stone recipe for a sub 3minute Fran, these are simply guidelines to help you in the right direction, experiment and see what works best for you.
Why focus on Pre-Workout Nutrition?
There are certain goals we want to achieve when considering nutrient intake before a workout;
Remember Crossfitters, this recommendation is for optimum performance, this means max lifts and PB's on times, not for aesthetic goals.
Consume 200-300 calories AT LEAST an hour prior to exercise
The amount is determined by your body size, what time the previous meal was eaten and what was previously eaten. It helps with hunger levels, glycogen restoration and performance. Anything within the hour prior to exercise may leave you lagging with undigested food or undesirable blood glucose levels.
Take in mostly carbohydrate pre workout - particularly for morning sessions
This, as previously mentioned, is for muscle glycogen stores. Specifically foods that is easily digestible. Choosing lower glycaemic foods, 2 or more hours before exercise will allow time for slow digestion, slow rise in blood glucose levels and replenishment of glycogen stores with a steady insulin release. High glycemic foods mean a quick release of sugar into the blood resulting in a higher release of insulin to quickly reduce the rapidly elevating blood sugar levels. This then is followed by an over correction, low blood glucose and a feeling of hunger right before the workout.
Low in fibre
High fibre content usually means a low glycemic index for foods, whole-grains for example. High fibre foods can sit in your stomach for hours, soaking up fluids and leave you with a heavy feeling during the workout. No one wants a heavy feeling whilst dipping your body weight so look for low glycemic, low fibre foods pre workout.
Include protein, especially BCAA
Essential amino acids are critical for your health and are only found in the foods that we eat, our body cannot produce them on its own. Amino Acids are the building blocks for protein and stimulates protein synthesis after the workout, meaning you can return sooner to do another quality workout.
Drink to satisfy Thirst
Adequate hydration pre workout can prevent dehydration during or after. Also, has been shown to reduce protein breakdown during exercise, beneficial for both performance and recovery.
Water only in the last hour
This, much like the high glycemic foods if to prevent rapid increase of blood sugar levels which has the nasty tag along of sharp insulin release. For those interested, this sugar-insulin reaction is called a hypoglycaemic reaction, might come up in a trivial night someday.
Alright, alright, I'm not forgetting about the early birds, the 5.30am class. No, you're not expected to get up a 3.30 to munch down some sweet potato and a boiled egg. Hypoglycaemia can occur when taking in carbohydrates within the last hour or so before exercise, excluding the final 10 minutes. Consuming high glycemic carbohydrates in the final 10 minutes just doesn't give the body enough time for the insulin response but enough time to replenish glycogen. Exercise causes the body to immediately down-regulate the need for insulin (for the geeks, exercise causes a smaller release of insulin due to the muscles being more sensitive and more permeable to glucose, reducing the usual amount of insulin needed to escort glucose into the body's cells). So taking in 100 to 200 calories of high glycemic food, in the last 10 minutes prior, can give you the energy needed without the negative of a blood glucose drop.
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