You want to put your best effort into every workout. Sometimes, this can be a bigger than usual challenge due to long work days, stress and lack of sleep. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to train and feeling like you’re already spent.
Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy. One of the best ways to make sure you have enough energy for training is to consume complex carbs throughout the day. Carbs are stored in muscle cells as glycogen which your body burns as fuel during anaerobic efforts like weight training and high-intensity cardio.
Even if you’ve skipped meals throughout the day, you can still get in a good pre-workout meal to save the day and provide the energy you need for training. By combining complex carbohydrates with a quality source of protein you give yourself the benefit of exercise energy and amino acid muscle support.
Stay away from simple sugars like candy, fruit juice and other rapidly-digesting carbohydrate foods. These options promote spikes in blood sugar levels that are often followed by an energy crash. You don’t want to run out of energy before you’re through hoisting plates.
Instead, go with complex carbohydrates that will be digested at a much slower rate and can provide a more sustained level of energy. Foods such as oatmeal, oat bran and Ezekiel bread are great choices for your pre-workout meal.
Along with those complex carbs, make sure to get in some protein to provide your body with amino acids that can provide anti-catabolic support during your workout and also help kick-start the recovery process that begins afterward. Egg whites, protein shakes and tuna fish are all great choices.
My favorite pre-workout meal consists of 5 to 6 egg whites, 1/2 cup of oatmeal and either 1/2 cup of blueberries or one slice of Ezekiel bread. I eat this 60 to 90 minutes before starting my workout and have plenty of energy to give my training session 100%.