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Pre-Workout / Game Nutrients

Nutrition & Sports Performance

Pre Workout / Game Nutrition

to Fuel Sport Performance in Competition

Consuming a good pre-workout meal is a pivotal way to ensure you’ll be at your best when it’s time to compete or train. It’s important to get the timing of this meal just right - eating too early may leave you hungry by the time it comes around to your workout, and eating too late will probably leave you feeling sick and sluggish.

  1. When should I eat?

    I recommend eating a carbohydrate rich meal around three hours before a workout for optimal sports performance. However, for those who workout first thing in a morning, it’s going to be hard to get that meal in so early. In this case, it’s best to eat something smaller within a 45-60 minute window of working out. This will give you enough fuel to get you through your exercise routine without hindering your performance.

  2. What should I eat?

    A good mix of carbs and protein is the best meal option before workout out. A few good examples of a pre-workout meal would include: an egg omelette with toast, oatmeal topped with fruit and finally, pasta with vegetables in a tomato based sauce. Consuming a smaller snack an hour before a workout is also great for giving the body a last minute energy boost. The smaller snack will also help the keep off the feeling of being hungry before going to the gym.

    Avoid foods that make you feel bloated or uncomfortable. Foods that have this effect on you will negatively impact your workout or performance in a competition.   A meal high in fat immediately before a workout is likely to be uncomfortable in your digestive system and is better off avoided.

  3. Is a protein shake a good pre workout?

    Drinking a protein shake thirty minutes before exercise is known to have its benefits.  It begins to trigger protein synthesis in your body before your workout has begun. This means that when you start exercising, your body will be constantly supplied with amino acids that are critical in helping your muscles recovery and grow. That being said, you can get  protein into your body just as easily through a pre-workout meal; protein shakes are only really needed if an athlete is struggling to get in their protein requirements throughout the day.

  4. Should I look into buying a pre workout drink?

    There are many pre-workouts drinks on the market which contain a range of ingredients from caffeine to creatine. It is important to look at nutrition labels and ensure that you are aware of what you are putting in your body. Many of the pre-workout drinks have a placebo effect, with no scientific backing. Many of the ingredients will increase the blood flow of an athlete and create a ‘buzzing’ or ‘tingling’ effect, but that’s as far as they go. Pre-workout drinks containing caffeine, creatine and beta-alanine have been known to increase performance, but only in extreme athletes who are pushing themselves to the absolute limits.

Long story short, it’s best to consume a well balanced meal three hours before your workout. Pay attention to how your pre-workout meal makes you feel and see how you perform physically. From there you can experiment with what you’re eating and when you’re eating it and find out what works best for you.

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