Many athletes fear gastrointestinal distress during competition and will refrain from eating. This can cause energy loss which negatively affects performance. Every athlete is different regarding pre-exercise food, so it may be a good practice to start slowly with a training/nutrition journal and introduce pre-workout foods in small increments to see how your body reacts.
What should I eat before I train?
Before training or competition, an athlete should give their bodies a quick carbohydrate boost to their muscles with about 30 grams of carbohydrates. Some examples of good pre-workout snacks are:
- Energy, granola, or fruit bars
- Pretzels or crackers
- Packet of oatmeal, bagel or toast
- Dried fruit
In general, most people wait 2-4 hours after a full meal to begin their workouts. This way, the meal will have had plenty of time to be digested and give you the energy boost you will need to perform.
Good hydration is just as important as the fuel you put into your body so make sure you drink plenty of fluids before a heavy workout. Think about including the fluids you consume into your training journal as well, such as sports drinks or gels, since they may have an impact on your body that you didn't expect. Overall, planning pre-workout nutrition pays off in better performances, increased energy levels and happier athletes.
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