July 1, 2009 -- Question: What is the best pre-workout meal or food for men, and how long before a workout should I eat it?
Answer: What you want to look for in a pre-workout meal is that you have a source of carbohydrates to give you that release of energy, but you also want to be sure that you have protein so that you minimize any protein damage or protein breakdown during that workout. So, that blend of protein and carb is gonna be key as your pre-workout snack. It can be a sandwich -- that's super easy for most guys to make. It can be a protein drink.
So if you do protein powder, fresh fruit, milk, that fresh fruit and milk are giving you the carbohydrates; throw protein powder in it -- easy, easy.
Even something like a baked potato with a chicken breast, there's your carb and protein blend. So the key is to have that blend of protein and carbohydrates.
As far as timing, how far in advance do you need to eat this meal. It's gonna depend on a few things. How big is that meal or snack before your workout? You might be able to have that shake and work out within 30 minutes. If you have a larger meal though, you might need to wait more like an hour.
So experiment, try, see what works best for you. So based on the size of the meal will impact how long do you need to wait till your workout but also the type of workout. So, if you're doing strength training you can often strength train, lift weights on a little bit more of a full stomach than if you're gonna go out for a run. So if you're running you actually may prefer to do more of an empty stomach, wait an hour, two hours. If you're strength training or lifting you might only need 30 minutes.
So experiment, try, see what works for you to maximize your energy so that you're not feeling nauseous during your workout but you're still having that performance and that power that you need.