High-carb pre-workout foods, sports nutritionist approved – Insider

High-carb pre-workout foods, sports nutritionist approved - Insider

  • Eating before a workout is a good way to help you perform at your best.
  • Choose simple carbs for quick energy, sports nutritionist to top athletes, Dr. Mike Molloy said.
  • Good options are oatmeal, fruit, or white rice with some ground chicken.

Eating before a workout is an effective way to fuel your body and boost your performance, sports dietitian and founder of M2 Performance Nutrition, Dr. Mike Molloy, told Insider. 

Food provides an immediate source of usable energy, Molloy said. And carbs are a wise choice.

“Pre-workout carbs, in conjunction with protein, have been shown to improve training adaptations and support faster recovery between sessions,” he said, adding that they also support a healthy immune system.

Carbs, like instant oatmeal or a piece of fruit, can help give you an energy boost ahead of a workout.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pre-workout food

When it comes to what and how much you should eat, the type, duration, and intensity of the workout and movements performed all play a role.

Longer workouts generally require more food than shorter sessions.

“By comparison, a very short but very intense workout can most likely be fueled entirely from energy stores that are already in the muscle fibers from the previous meal,” Molloy said. “There might still be some neurological benefits to a pre-workout snack however.”

Each person’s needs will vary too.

“Generally speaking, consuming a carb and protein based snack (low in fat and low in fiber) will work best and reap the most benefit, compared to a high-fat type snack or meal,” Molloy said. “Foods that are easily broken down, commonly called ‘quick carbs,’ are often best.”

pasta and bread

White pasta and bread release energy quickly.

Getty/Cathy Scola

“Quick carbs” include white pasta, bread, and rice rather than brown or whole grain versions, which release energy more slowly.

How long before working out you should eat depends on when your last full meal was, said Molloy, who works with top athletes in various sports.

“If you had a full meal 2-3 hours prior to working out with a solid chunk of carbohydrates, then a small snack about 30-45 min prior is plenty,” he said.

If it’s been longer since your last meal, you don’t need to eat more but you should have the carb-based snack earlier, as the benefit of it is more pronounced. Molloy recommends something simple and light, not something that will sit heavily in your stomach.

The best pre-workout foods contain carbs

There’s nothing wrong with a smaller version of a meal as your pre-workout fuel, such as ground chicken and white rice with some kind of sauce for flavor, Molloy said.

Another of his favorites is overnight oats: “A couple packets of instant oats, some chia seeds, a scoop of protein, and your favorite liquid of choice (oat milk is my go to) works really well,” he said.

Other good carb sources to consume 30-45 minutes before your workout include:

  • Applesauce or other types of fruit pûrée
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Greek yogurt
  • A piece of fruit

Molloy previously told Insider that one of the biggest mistakes active people can make is eating a low-carb diet, because it limits your performance capacity and can lead to muscle loss and flu-like symptoms.

Source link

You May Also Like

About the Author: Eugene Berry