Do you know bodybuilders have only the half truth with them?
They know that until you cross limits most of the muscles don’t grow. The other half truth is unless they have the best pre-workout foods, they won’t be able to cross their limits! Without good food they won’t have the energy, zeal to even try breaking their limits.
You very well know that with some fuel you may be able to start your car, but without having ample fuel, either putting it in the first gear or pushing the accelerator paddle won’t get you anywhere. Similarly, you need best pre-workout meal so you know your fuel tank (read energy store) has all the juice you need to splurge ahead! There are umpteen benefits that you should know and we are putting them all here for you to know and reach your goals, quickly and efficiently.
The Main Benefits of Having Best Pre-Workout Food
You now have understood the importance of best pre-workout foods so let us see in slight detail, what benefits they bring to you. We know this knowledge will surprise you to no end!
#1 Prevent Muscles from Catabolism
With good pre-workout foods, our body has enough of glycogen needed as fuel. Else, it breaks our muscles and utilizes the amino acids they contain for fuelling our exercises. This means to gain muscle you lose muscle and not what everyone wants.
#2 Gives You much-needed Energy
Our body uses stored glycogen and carbohydrates as first choice for fuel. The sole reason is because these two can easily be converted into ATP energy much faster than any other known macronutrients. This is one big reason to have pre-workout meals before starting your exercising schedule.
#3 Increase Muscle Boosting Environment (or Muscle Anabolism)
Pre-workout foods which contain protein and carbohydrates ensure you have good energy to start and protein for that much needed muscle synthesis. This simply means the environment inside your body is anabolic (the constructive part of metabolism).
Which Nutrients should form your pre-workout foods and when should you eat them
We have 3 essential nutrients that help every bodybuilder. They are carbohydrates, protein and fats. Here are some guidelines to help you out.
Carbohydrates: Two types, High glycemic index or simple carbs and Low glycemic index or complex carbs. The good news is, no need to confuse as you need BOTH!
If you have just 30 minutes to an hour spare time before workout, have the simple ones because they are ideal source for instantly fuelling your body with energy.
However, if you have around 2-3 hours extra, have the complex carbs which slowly feed the body with fuel and last quite long. (Remember, that 30 minutes prior to your exercises, having a simple carb is necessary)
Fats: They provide high energy, around 9Kcal per gram you should stick to small amounts as an excess will make you lethargic. Problem is they digest slowly, much slower than complex carbs.
Proteins: They give our body the much needed amino acids or the much famous branched chain amino acids which prevent muscles from breaking down and aid in muscle recovery and growth.
Best Pre-Workout Foods for Maximum Gains!
Now that you know what pre-workout foods you should have, we present all the foods that make up this list. Each food is best and you can choose what you like and which food suits your body best!
1. Whey Protein Shakes
We have a full list of whey protein shakes for you to choose from. Not only these shakes have complex carbohydrates from fruits, amino acids from the whey protein and inherent vitamins & nutrients from the fruits. For your pleasure we have included whey protein shakes with crunchy ingredients as well. What’s more, instead of drinking it at once, you can sip them every now & then all the way before your begin your exercising!
Recommended: best whey protein supplements for muscle building
2. Homemade Protein Mixtures
Mix some jaggery (Gur) with roasted peanuts and your protein mixture is ready. You can always add some rice crispies (roasted poha) and some Ghee (clarified butter) and your instant protein mixture is ready.
3. Brown Bread & Egg Omelette
Have two slices of brown bread, spread some butter or ghee and have them with egg omelette made with some tomatoes and onion. Now you have carbs, protein, fat and some fiber as well. Make sure you have it at least 2-3 hours before your exercises.
Bananas are a great source of potassium and some simple sugars, so consuming those before 30 minutes to an hour before workouts helps immensely. Eating a banana pre workout is the perfect way to boost your glycogen stores and increase blood sugar levels. Moreover, their simple fibers help your bowels too!
5. Classic meals with Chicken and Rice
Chicken provides the lean protein & fat, rice the much needed carbs and if you throw in some vegetables, provide the micronutrients and fiber. Ideally you should have it 2-3 hours before workouts.
6. Dahi (Greek Yoghurt) and Fruits (dates, strawberry, walnut, mango etc)
Best when consumed just 1 hour before workouts. Ideal protein content loaded with amino acids and this one digests easily. Fruits are packed with simple sugars and essential vitamins & nutrients. You can go easy on the yoghurt and consume a big bowl!
7. Oatmeal or Porridge (Dalia)
Choose the one you prefer as each one is a winner in the pre-workout foods. Oatmeal releases the sugar slowly so you can go a long way. For best results you can add a scoop of protein powder so that you do not miss out on proteins. Wait for at least 2 hours before you head over to the gym for your workouts!
8. Sprouts with potato, tomatoes and cucumber
Natural vitamins and fiber flowing all around! Especially if you have sprouted chickpeas (Chole), Chane (Bengal Gram), and lentils then nothing like it. Sprinkle some salt, lemon juice and add a few veggies and you have proteins from chickpeas and carbs from potatoes. Just wait for 1 hour before exercising.