Pre-Workout Nutrition

25 Jan

Sorry for the late post guys – today has been literally CRAZY!  First, John and I went to see a house (we want to move into a house with a yard by March), then we went to register gifts, then it was a doctor’s appointment, then a chat with our landlord about our current lease, and THEN a trip to the dog park.  Throw an hour-long chat with my mom in there, and I’m just getting to blogging now, at 9pm.  And I don’t foresee things getting any less crazy :S

Yeah, yeah, poor Tess.  Planning her wedding to the best guy in the world, moving into (hopefully) a beautiful house with her cute a** dog…. poor Tess, indeed.

As I was eating my pre-workout meal today (a workout I never made it to, due to aforementioned craziness), it occurred to me that many people don’t know much about pre-workout nutrition guidelines.  So here are a few quick tips:

– You’ll want to focus your meal on slow-digesting (complex) carbs.  Carbs give you energy, which you’ll need for your workout.  But if you eat things that are too fast-digesting (simple carbs) then you’re going to burn through all your energy before you even step into the gym, and likely end up burning out just as you start your first set!  Good idea: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, vegetables, whole wheat bread, brown/wild rice, beans, or fruit that have a low GI such as apples, oranges, or berries.  Bad idea: white bread, bagel, watermelon, mashed potatoes, white rice, rice cakes, processed cereals.

-Assuming you want to build, or maintain (and not lose) muscle during your workout, you’ll also want to include a clean source of protein.  Good idea: chicken, fish, egg whites, yogurt, cottage cheese, whey (or other protein supplements).  Bad idea: fatty, processed meats such as sausage or steak.

-Finally, you may want to include a moderate amount of fats in your pre-workout nutrition.  Now, not everybody is going to agree with this – most people would agree that carbs and protein are the most important.  But personally, I find that I need just a little bit of fat to get me through my workouts (which can last up to 2 hours).  It keeps my energy levels even, and ensures that I don’t start feeling famished before I’m done.  Just a little bit, mind you!  Like, 1-2 tsp. Every body is different though, so I would experiment if I were you.  Some good ideas: flaxseed, peanut butter, almonds.  Bad ideas: fried foods, chips, lots of nuts, butter…. DUH!

Today's pre-workout meal: sweet potatoes, apple, cinnamon, some flaxseed, and a vega protein shake. If only I'd made it to the gym....

You’ll want to eat this meal between 1-3 hours before your workout.  John likes to wait about 2 hours after eating, so everything is fully digested.  Me, I’m good with 1 hour, so again it depends on your body.  Though don’t eat any closer than 60 minutes to a workout, because well, first of all you may get a cramp!  But also at that point your body will be using most of its energy in digestion, meaning you won’t get its full potential during the workout.

Hope this helps!



3 Responses to “Pre-Workout Nutrition”

  1. getfitwithles January 25, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Great tips Tess! And I agree with them all! You really know your stuff! No wonder you look so good! 😉 Congrats on the house did it go???

    • Tess and Jess January 26, 2012 at 12:05 am #

      (Tess) Thanks Les! It’s good to hear that coming from a guru like you 😀 The house hunting was ok… we L.O.V.E the house, but the owner is hesitant about leasing to people with a dog (especially a big dog, apparently). So we’re trying to convince her that he’s good, but we’ll see what ends up happening.

      • getfitwithles January 26, 2012 at 8:14 am #

        Aw Zuhri! They better learn to LOVE him!! HAHA GOOD LUCK!

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