One of the biggest mistakes that people make is not eating the right types of nutrition meals before working out. In order to achieve a nice amount of muscle mass and have a lean physique, it is important to understand the role of nutrient timing and when to properly eat certain macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and fat. Here is a quick overview of how to eat properly before working out.

Low-Glycemic Carbohydrates

One of the biggest reasons why many people have difficulties losing weight is that they load up on fast-acting starchy carbohydrates such as pastries and cereals before working out. The human body can easily breakdown and store sugar as fat in these sources of carbohydrates. Therefore, it is important those who workout, especially athletes, base their carbohydrate loading using low-glycemic foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Some examples include apples, berries, cherries, cruciferous vegetables and oatmeal. Avoid eating white breads, pastas and other starches made out of refined, white flour. You should strive to eat anywhere between 20-40 grams of carbohydrates before working out. Doing such will prevent the body from using muscle for energy.

High Quality Protein

Another common mistake that people make before working out is eating inadequate amounts of protein. Individuals should stick with high quality sources such as lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts and dairy and avoid fast-acting sources of protein like whey protein powder. Whey should ONLY be consumed after a workout, not before. Individuals should eat at least 30-50 grams of protein before working out to prevent the body from using amino acids in muscle mass for energy.

Healthy Fats

Fat is not bad. In fact, the body can properly utilize fat for energy. However, it is important to eat the right amount and type of fat before working out. Individuals should eat no more than 3-7 grams of fat before working out and they should come from natural sources such as animals, eggs, dairy and nuts. Avoid processed, hydrogenated oils like vegetable and canola oil. This means no consumption of fried foods and those that contain trans-fatty acids.

What will an example meal look like?

A common meal that is eaten before working out would be a serving of steel cut oats, egg whites, and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. This is often a classic bodybuilding meal. Another example would be a lean cut of chicken breast cooked in extra virgin olive oil, green beans and brown rice.


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