Fat Loss Nutrition Pre Workout Part 1
Today marks the start of my 2 part guide to workout nutrition guide for fat loss. Let us start it off with PRE WORKOUT NUTRITION. Most people struggle with it, guys and dolls. Rightly so, it is confusing, especially with all the crap that is thrown around online.
‘Train on an empty stomach” “You shouldn’t eat this or shouldn’t eat that before the gym” – it’s all the same, really. So today I want to clear up any questions you may have about YOUR pre workout nutrition. In terms of importance, I think it’s one of the most crucial meals of the day, it can either make or break a workout. It’s that serious! The two main problems I see every day with people trying to plan their pre workout meal is what to have and when to have it.
First of all lets tackle the “train on empty stomach myth” Rubbish. That was invented by someone who loves going for a 2 mile jog at 5am but who still carries around a gut after him. Glycogen is the stored carbohydrate that your body uses as its preferred fuel source during exercise. The fasted cardio crowd says that because glycogen is somewhat depleted in the morning after the night’s fast, your body will burn a greater percentage of fat during training as its next resort. A smart nutritionist will tell you that your body can store glycogen for 12 to 16 hours before it absolutely must be replenished by a meal. If it isn’t, your body will turn to MUSCLE to break down for glucose (quick energy). This isn’t negotiable. With trace levels of glycogen in your system, your body CAN’T burn fat. It has to use muscle. When you burn up muscle, you’re basically inviting your body to store more fat, not to mention look and feel weaker and flabbier. Who wants that?
Most of us have some sort of meal within two hours before we go to bed and we rarely sleep for more than 8 hours, so if you get up and start training 10 or so hours after your last meal, your glycogen will be low, but it won’t be gone. So it could be argued that you’ll have just enough glycogen left to allow your body to burn fat, but low enough levels that you’ll burn more fat than normal to compensate for it.
My recommendation is if you want to train on an empty stomach, then possibly have a black coffee with no sugar 20 minutes before hand as a pre workout boost along with the option of taking some BCAA’s.
The BCAAs are made up of three essential amino, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are essential because the body is unable to make them out of other amino acids, meaning they must be ingested through food or supplements.
The benefits of taking essential amino acids before working out are:
- reduce the overall hunger/carb-cravings (likely due to gluconeogenesis)
- provide a little more energy for the workout
- results in less DOMS (soreness)
- Preserves muscle and prevents catabolism.
Now, do you find yourself trying to find foods that should be giving you energy to train but find yourself tired and lethargic?
(not exactly what you want when you’re about to train)
The tired feeling would usually come from eating carbohydrates. When we do so our body excretes serotonin, this is a chemical message that in fact puts us to sleep. SO – when we have a big serving of carbs pre workout chances are we could be feeling a little sleepy – this just totally depends on the person. The “what to eat” part is completely dependent on your goals. If you’re just starting your fat loss journey I recommend keeping carbs low pre-workout so that the body has to call upon existing fat stores for energy. You should aim to get some good quality protein and some fat sources from things such and avocado or coconut oil.
If you’re a little more advanced, experiment with carbs pre-workout, some of you will do well and others will find it a little bit harder to drop that stubborn belly fat. Solving your second problem about timing is really simple. There’s no fancy science that says you must eat exactly 22.76 minute before your workout. It all comes down to personal preference. Aim to have your meal close to your workout, but long enough that you feel comfortable that it is out of your stomach and being digested. Last thing you want is your chicken and avocado coming up during a heavy set of squats.
Pre workout nutrition can be confusing and I understand that. Check out below some options for pre-workout nutrition:
- Dried fruits
- Fresh Fruit
- Rice cakes with Nut Butter
- Banana with almond butter
- Gluten free bread with sliced banana, sprinkled with cinnamon
- Greek Yogurt and trail mix nuts.
- Apple wedges with almond butter.
P.S: This is just a taste (no pun intended) of what we show our clients on our new Results 12 Program. If you wish to book in for a free 14 day trial then fill in your details below.