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What is a preworkout meal? It is necessary?

  • By Vishwanthar on Nutrition

  • February 18, 2013

A preworkout meal is consumed prior to the workout. Is it necessary? Perhaps, it is. The preworkout meal can consist of a complex carbohydrate that easily digests such as white rice, sweet potato, or fruits like apple and orange. A preworkout meal, however, should not consist of simple carbohydrates– high glycemic index. It results in crashing your energy levels by spiking the insulin level.

Protein is another important nutrient. It decreases muscle breakdown during and after the workout. Studies suggest that protein from muscle breakdown is more than doubled when training in a fasted state. There is evidence, however, that training on an empty stomach can increase fat oxidation and allow mobilization of stored fat for fuel. A grain of sand, however, should be taken from these findings.

Fat takes a longtime to digest, so a preworkout meal or a post workout meal should be low in fat. Remember it is all about taking advantage of the anabolic window. You should neither consume a high fat diet nor a high glycemic index carbohydrate.

The challenge, however, is how much food you can eat. Some of you can eat a full meal an hour before a rigorous workout while some of you might have to wait three to four hours. It is YOU who has to decide the quantity. In general 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates from the listed sources suffices. And 20 to 30 grams of protein from egg whites or whey protein is ideal, for these protein sources are fast acting. You need a fast acting protein before and after the workout. The amino acids are released fast into the bloodstream when needed the most.

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