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What to Eat Before a Workout to Build Muscle and Reduce Fat


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The foods best suited to consume before workout rely on a person’s goals and the type of exercise. For example, protein-rich foods can help a person in building muscles with the help of resistance training.

It is essential to target for a balance of macro nutrients when opting for a pre-workout meal. Macro nutrients are nutritional compounds that the body requires in large amounts in order to function properly.

Macro nutrients are main sources of energy. The three macro nutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fat, which can contribute to a pre-workout meal in a different manner:


Protein provides amino acids, and both of these are vital for a variety of functions, that include building, repair, and maintenance of muscle fibers.

Before exercising,consuming a meal that consists of a substantial volume of lean protein can assist in improving performance.

Why is protein a good pre-workout food?

Eating protein-rich foods (e.g., salmon) before exercise can enhance gains in muscle mass.

Protein can escalate the volume of muscle mass acquired from a resistance exercise.

Intense sessions of resistance workout harm the muscles, but eating protein rises the amount of amino acids in the body. These lessen deterioration, stimulate growth, and produce muscle proteins.

Having 20–30 grams of protein before exercise can lead to an enhanced rate of muscle protein synthesis which continues for a few hours.

High-protein foods

Some examples of healthy foods rich in protein are as follows:

  • Fish like salmon, tuna
  • Poultry like chicken,turkey
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Soy

Those who are interested in acquiring muscle should make sure they have as ufficient total every day protein intake.

Research has continuously revealed that eating from 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein for every pound of body weight is adequate to build muscle.

Several sources suggest consuming more protein;however, any surplus protein is not likely to influence muscle mass substantially.


People should have complex carbohydrates, like beans, 2-3 hours before exercising.

Carbohydrates are an ecessarysource of energy.

Before a workout,consuming the correct amount of carbohydrates will make sure the body has sufficient energy to do well.

This is correct for those people who are involved in cardiovascular and resistance workout, among other types.

Though, the different kinds of carbohydrates will produce a different result:

Simple carbohydrates:

These are sugars which offer a speedy increase in energy. White bread is a common source of simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates:

These are fiber or starch, which deliver a slower, more long-lasting energy source. A rich source of complex carbohydrates is whole-grain foods.

Which sort of carbohydrate is healthier in a pre-workout meal?

Complex carbohydrates possessm any advantages, some of which are as follows:

Simple carbohydrates are temporary energy sources. In case a pre-workout meal has too many simple carbohydrates, the person who consumes it may feel low in in energy before they complete their exercise. Complex carbohydrates deliver energy more constantly over a more prolonged period of time.

Complex carbohydrates are food constituents that are rich in nutrients, like beans. Simple carbohydrates are usually constituents of foods having little or no nutritious value, like cakes, chocolate bars.

Foods with complex carbohydrates have low glycemic index scores compared to those with simple carbohydrates. A food having a low glycemic index score is not likely to make blood glucose levels spike and escalate the threat of type 2 diabetes.

The body is capable of digesting complex carbohydrates more slowly compared to simple carbohydrates.

For increasing energy before exercise, a person should eat complex carbohydrates 2–3 hours beforehand and simple carbohydrates 30–60 minutes beforehand.

Complex carbohydrate foods

Some examples of healthy foods that possess complex carbohydrates are as follows:

  • Broccoli, sweet potatoes, and some other vegetables
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Whole-grain pasta

Before exercise, fruits offer the most appropriate source of simple carbohydrates. Bananas are a standard option, as these comprise potassium and simple carbohydrates both.


Fats are a necessary source of energy.

By tradition, medical specialists have suggested against eating fat-rich meals before workout since the body digests fats more slowly in comparison with carbohydrates. That is to say,the body may not be capable of breaking down and absorbing fats before an exercise starts.

Can fats help before exercise?

Avocados are high in unsaturated fats, which are essential for a diet to be balanced.

Before exercise, it is preferable to consume a diet that concentrates more on carbohydrates and protein and not on fats.

Though, it is significant to include healthy fats somewhere else in a balanced diet.It is note worthy as well that not all fats are healthy.

Some specific kinds of fats,especially saturated and trans fats, can adversely affect overall health.

Healthy fat foods

However, other types of fats are extremely nutritive. For example,unsaturated fats offer a variety of health benefits.

Some foods high in unsaturated fats are as follows:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Seeds and nuts

When to Consumea Pre-workout Meal

Preferably, a person should consume a diet high in complex carbohydrates and protein nearly 2–3 hours before workout.

A few hours wait,after eating,permits the body sufficient time to digest the food.

As a substitute, a person may opt for a smaller meal generally made of simple carbohydrates. In such a case, they require a wait only for 30–60 minutes before exercising.

Summing Up

To make the most of your recovery and performance, it is vital to fuel your body with the correct nutrients.

Carbohydrates help making the best use of your body’s capability of using glycogen to fuel low- and high-intensity workout, whereas fats help fuel your body for longer workout bouts.

Consuming protein assists in improving synthesis of muscle protein, avoiding muscle injury and stimulating recovery.

Good hydration is associated with improved performance as well.

Pre-workout diets can be consumed three hours to 30 minutes before an exercise. But, pick out foods that are easily digestible, particularly if your exercise begins in one hour or less. This will assist you escape stomach uneasiness.

Furthermore, a number of supplements can add to performance and encourage recovery.

On the whole, simple pre-workout nutrition approaches can go a long way to help you do better and get well quicker.

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