What Should I Eat Before an Endurance Training?
What you need before the training is quality carbohydrates, lean protein, good fats and fluids.
Muscles need carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables to obtain the necessary energy to sustain your workout.
Proteins serve muscles and red blood cells, which carry nutrients and oxygen into muscles.
Finally, fluids are always critical to avoid dehydration.
Is There a Perfect Pre-Workout Meal?
No, but there are essential factors that you must consider when you plan your meal before an endurance training:
- Low in fat
- Sufficiently rich in carbohydrates and proteins
- Low fibers
- It must include fluids
- Only foods that you tolerate
How Much Should I Eat Before Training?
Water is the cooling system of our body, so we can not risk being or getting dehydrated.
To avoid dehydration, your pre-workout meal should include foods rich in water (like apples) and you should drink at least two cups of water two hours before training.
Is It Best to Drink Water or Sport Drinks?
To keep hydrated, water usually is sufficient.
However, if the training lasts more than one hour, in particular heat or humidity conditions, sport drinks can be helpful because they also provide carbohydrates and sodium.
Even for those who tend to sweat a lot, sport drinks can be a better choice.
Does it Hurt to Train on an Empty Stomach, Especially in the Morning?
It depends on the type of endurance training that you plan to do.
In case of jogging or walking at a fast pace, just drink a glass of water before you start.
However, if the activity is more intense (cardio, HIIT ), then it is recommended to eat some carbohydrates that are easy to digest (banana, fruit salad, a slice of whole wheat bread, etc.), which will serve as fuel.
Are Proteins Really Necessary After Training?
Yes, because they are fundamental to rebuild muscles and help the recovery process.
Whatever you choose, a boiled egg, a glass of milk or a protein shake, we can say that generally 10-20 grams of protein are sufficient for muscle recovery.
Among Various Sport Drinks, Energy Bars and Other Products, How to Choose the Right Ones?
In 250 ml of a good SPORT DRINK, there should be 14-15 g of carbohydrates, 110 mg of sodium and 30 mg of potassium.
If, however, your goal is to lose weight, then you should opt for water or for a lighter sport drink, as they contain fewer carbohydrates and calories.
With regard to the ENERGY BARS, they should contain at least 5 g of protein, with a bit of carbohydrates and low fat.
Note that when we talk about energy, we talk about calories, so you have to pay attention to the bars with too many calories.
These are recommended for those who are running a long endurance training (running, cycling, tennis, etc.).
Finally, after an endurance training, give preference to protein powders (whey, casein etc) and BCAA, to be taken in the next half-hour post workout, to provide your muscles with the amino acids necessary for recovery and rebuilding.
Is Carbohydrates Loading a Winning Strategy for Those Who Practice Long Term Training?
Carbohydrates loading means, essentially, to take in a big supply of carbs before exercise.
This strategy is losing quite a lot of popularity among athletes, because they don't need to eat a lot of carbs before endurance training/competition, as they can be taken while exercising.
Carbs loading should be considered only to prepare for very heavy and intense workouts, during prolonged physical activities that are going to last more than 90 minutes, and it should also be planned ad-hoc with a dietitian or nutritionist.
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