Supplementing Correctly During your Pre-workout Routine & Before Competitions
Proper preparation is crucial to any objective, and attaining your fitness goals is no different. You’re well aware that a proper warm-up will help your muscles get set for exertion and reduce your risk of injury, but supplementing correctly before your workout is also critical. Whether you’re hitting the gym for a hardcore weight training session or heading out for a long run, you need to ready your body for exercise or competition with the right hydration and nutrients. Here are the keys to making sure you’re good to go.
Do allow an appropriate amount of time for digestion before a workout.
You can’t just hop into vigorous exercise if your body is still digesting food, so count on waiting a bit after eating before hitting the gym. Give yourself about three to four hours after consuming a large meal or two to three for something lighter. If you opt for a smoothie or liquid supplement, you only need to allow about an hour or so.
Don’t head out to a restaurant for a pre-workout meal.
While it may seem more convenient to dine out before an event, the problem is that you may not be in control over what goes into your meal. You need to consume certain nutrients and avoid others, but it may be difficult to give the kitchen proper instruction. Save your meal out for a rest day or hit your favorite hot spot after you’ve recovered from exercising.
Do consume high-quality carbohydrates for your pre-workout meal.
Carbs tend to clear your digestive system quickly, so they’re a good option before hitting the gym. Pick the right ones, such as pasta, starches, bread and rice. Also, add a small amount of protein and fat to balance digestion.
Don’t chow down on high-fat proteins.
Stay away from foods like cheese or nut butters before a workout, as they take longer for your stomach to eliminate. The result is that you’ll feel groggy and slow, and your performance will suffer. Stick with smaller amounts of protein and choose those that are lower in fat, like beans, chicken, fish or eggs. Some dairy options, like low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, also work well.
Do use the right supplements.
Supplementing correctly in the pre-workout phase isn’t all about food, as you also need certain nutrients that are hard to gain by eating. Creatine is a great boost for muscle growth while beta-alanine helps alleviate the burn you might experience with heavy weight lifting or high-intensity workouts.
Don’t pick the wrong beverage for pre-workout hydration.
Water is always best when you’re gearing up for a workout, but some athletes like beverages with a little more flavor. Opting for a sports drink is fine; however, steer clear of carbonated liquids that often cause bloating or stomach discomfort. Also, choose wisely if you’d like a caffeinated drink. It can cause nausea and jitters, and its diuretic qualities may lead to dehydration.
These tips on supplementing correctly before your workout should have you raring to go for any type of exercise, from strength to endurance to interval training. Especially in competition situations, you need to invest the right time and consume essential nutrients as part of your pre-event preparation. The trick is to know what your body wants and needs as you’re aiming for premium performance.