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What to eat before weight training?

 What to eat before weight training?

What to eat before weight training

If what you eat after the session is crucial for a good recovery, you should not forget that what you eat before your effort is also crucial to be able to carry out an intense training. Stimulating your muscles sufficiently is a sine qua non condition for your body to trigger their growth, so that they adapt to the efforts to which you subject them.

The mechanics of exercise

To understand what you need to eat before you exercise, you must first understand what is happening in your body at that time. When you train, your body is forced to draw on its fuel reserves so that your muscles can function fully. It will use the sugars in your bloodstream as well as those stored in your muscles and liver. Moreover, if it does not find enough in your blood, it will use even more of its muscle and liver reserves. And, when these reserves are too depleted, the intensity of your effort may decrease.

During your training, your body is in a state of catabolism, it tends to break down the proteins in your muscles to extract amino acids. Obviously, the effort you produce is intended to create micro-injuries in your muscles so that your body can adapt and become stronger. However, in doing so, mechanisms are put in place and your body continues its work of destruction. This can be counterproductive.

Eating carbohydrates before exercise

As you have seen, carbohydrates are essential for intense effort. This intensity is essential to stimulate your muscles sufficiently. Without it, the body will not need to adapt, to build a stronger and larger muscle, since the effort required will not really be substantial.

The best way to ensure a good carbohydrate intake when you train is to eat properly about 1 to 1.5 hours before exercise. Why such a delay? Simply because eating something substantial too close to your workout can make digestion difficult. If you suffer intestinal problems during your workout, the quality of your workout may be affected. In addition, the nutrients may not be absorbed properly.

During this meal, you must consume carbohydrates with a low Glycemic Index. Indeed, if their GI is high, they will cause a sudden increase in your blood sugar level, followed by a strong production of insulin in your body, which will order the storage of nutrients in your blood. In other words, by the time you get to your workout, the sugars in your blood will be gone and stored, leaving you feeling fatigued and unable to work out.

Then, just before starting your session, it is possible to consume carbohydrates, easy to digest, and with a high GI. Indeed, these sugars will pass quickly into your bloodstream without disturbing your digestion and will be available when you start your efforts. They will not be stored because your body will use them at that time. Generally, it is advisable to prepare a drink containing between 30 and 60 g of carbohydrates such as dextrose, maltodextrin, Vitargo or Waxy maize, per liter of water. You can then start drinking this drink just before the session and continue during it.

For proteins

To counteract catabolism during training, you must provide your body with amino acids and therefore proteins that are composed of them. The easiest way to do this is to eat a source of animal protein such as meat, eggs or fish during the meal 1 to 1.5 hours before your session. You will then have enough time to digest them and the amino acids will be in circulation in your blood during the effort.

You can also provide a source of protein quickly assimilated just before the effort. For this, a shaker containing whey or BCAAs is very suitable. 20 to 30 grams of protein should be enough, or 5 to 10 g of BCAA. The latter are interesting because they can also be used as fuel during exercise. You can also mix them with your exercise drink where they will be very useful to continue to fight catabolism and improve your performance.

Is a pre-workout shaker essential?

Actually, if you have had a good meal about 1 hour before your workout, you don't need to consume protein and carbohydrates just before exercise. In fact, you will already have some circulating in your bloodstream and that should be enough. On the other hand, if your session drags on, it will surely be necessary to consume some during your session.

Examples of snacks

Here are a few examples of snacks to take 1 hour to 1.5 hours before exercise:

  • Whole wheat bread sandwich + chicken + some almonds
  • Oatmeal + cottage cheese + honey
  • Omelette (2 yolks and 3 whites) + wholemeal bread + fruit
  • Cottage cheese + banana + some nuts
  • Pasta + lean meat
  • Wholemeal pasta + turkey + 1 fruit
  • Whey + oatmeal + 1 fruit
 good training to all!
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