What to eat before training
Proteins, carbohydrates and fats play an important role before physical activity, as they provide the energy necessary for training and promote muscle recovery. The amounts in which these macronutrients must be consumed vary according to the type of exercise to be performed, the duration of the training and the person himself.
Knowing what to eat and eating a balanced diet helps improve physical activity performance and reduces the risk of hypoglycemia, cramps, and muscle pain during and after training. For these reasons, the ideal is to consult a sports nutritionist so that, through individual evaluation, he/she can indicate a diet plan adapted to the person’s needs. Should one eat carbohydrates and/or protein before training?
There are several theories on what to consume before training. Some indicate that carbohydrates should only be consumed, as these nutrients provide the amount of energy needed for a good glycogen load before physical activity, mainly an exercise that involves endurance and long-term exercises (more than 90 minutes).
Glycogen is a chain of various glucose molecules that are stored in the body, mainly in the liver and muscles, from which the body produces energy when muscle contraction is activated during exercise.
However, other studies indicate that consuming carbohydrates and a small portion of protein is ideal, which will not only energize the body but also promote muscle repair and growth. But it is important for the person to know that consuming only protein before training is not beneficial because carbohydrates are necessary for the body to produce energy.
Therefore, the foods chosen before training will depend on the individual objective of each person and the type of exercise to be performed, so the idea is to find a nutritionist to carry out a complete evaluation and develop a nutritional plan appropriate to your needs.
Food options to eat before training
The foods that can be eaten before training depend on the time that elapses between the foods that are eaten and the training. Therefore, the closer the food is to the workout, the softer it should be, to avoid any discomfort.
Some snack options that can be consumed between 30 minutes and 1 hour before training are:
Plain yoghurt with a portion of fruit;
1 fruit with a serving of nuts, such as walnuts or almonds, for example;
When there are still 1 or 2 hours to train, the snack can be:
1 cup cinnamon flakes;
1 fruit smoothie made with yoghurt or milk;
1 cup of whole-grain cereal with skim milk or yoghurt;
1 package of crackers or rice crackers with cream of avocado and onion;
1 pancake of oatmeal, banana and cinnamon with white cheese or peanut butter;
2 scrambled eggs with whole wheat bread or toast.
2 slices of whole wheat bread with white cheese, tomato and lettuce.
If the exercise is practised more than 2 hours apart, it generally coincides with the time of the main meal, such as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Sample menu for main meals
If the exercise is practised more than 2 hours apart and coincides with the main meal, the meals may be as follows: The amounts included in the menu vary according to age, sex, amount and type of physical activity performed. If the person suffers from any health condition, the ideal is to find a nutritionist for a complete evaluation and prepare a nutritional plan appropriate to their needs.