What to Eat Before a Workout

by William Benetton

It is a very popular opinion amongst the people that we all want to have very well-toned bodies. Everybody fancies that guy with abs, biceps, fats and muscles at the right places. We all admire ladies with well tucked in stomachs and curvy hips and fats only at the right places. There is a growing consciousness about how to get the best off the body presently. So, people are applying many means to achieve this. From consuming the right things, to healthy living habits and getting involved in workouts, people make effort to get the right body shape, and to keep fit and live healthy lives.

However, the desires to achieve these, and getting down to action at the gyms, are just the two secondary aspects of it. The primary aspect of it involves knowing the exact things to do to achieve particular results.  Because of this, we will be taking you on how much food to eat, when to eat them and what to eat when you are getting ready for strong and exhaustive workouts.

Workout Nutrition Explained In Full

Of course, we have said that timing and content are very important when it comes to workout nutrition. The only way you can get the needed energy and strength for that energy sapping work is by fueling it with nutrients before hitting the gym.  This will make you perform better. There is a specific task for each macronutrient contained in what you eat before workout. But, there is need for these to be consumed in a particular ratio for maximum performance.  You have to realize that what you consume before workout can either make or break what you put in at the gym and the output it gives you on your muscles

2-3 Hours before Workout – Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats

For you to gain the needed power before the strenuous exercise, you will need one of the premium sources of fuel. That muscle fiber tearing exercise will not be productively done if you don’t have a good source of carbohydrate. If it is up to 3 hours before, you can take any available one, including the slow digesting ones. But if it’s 2 hours before the exercise; do the moderately digesting carbs. These will offer the needed energy to your body and will prevent it from sucking energy from the energy left in your muscle. You are advised not to consume the fast digesting carbs because this will burn and fizzle out quickly, and may leave you gasping for strength.


The glycerin that is stored in your live and muscles will be the ultimate source of energy for your muscles during the high intensity exercises. However, if you will be engaging in those exercises that take longer time, then you may want to consider some other factors when choosing the carb to consume.  The intensity, nature of the training and the overall diet will now come into play here. Bear in mind that the volume of glycerin that your muscle can store is limited, and a depletion of this will also show in your level of intensity and output. You could, however, start by consuming a high carb diet for 7 days before you engage in this exercise. By so doing, any amount you take 3-2 hours before hitting the gym won’t matter.

The best carb meals to consume at this time include brown rice, oatmeal, and white rice. Others will include the whole wheat pasta and Ezekiel bread. Make sure you observe the timing, so that the carbs will have enough time to metabolize before you start working out.

If you have just 3 hours to hit the gym, then you can latch on any of the meals mentioned below and you would have gotten the ideal carb needed for that.

  • A meal of whole grain bread with sandwich, coupled with side salad and lean protein
  • Whole grain toast on top of egg omelet, with a cup of fruit and avocado
  • Brown rice and lean protein with roasted vegetables


Of course, you can’t say you have had a balanced diet if there is no source of protein. While the carbs will give your muscle the energy to function, this will help the muscles to grow. They are the building blocks that enhance the growth of the muscle. They come with both the non-essential and the essential amino acids.  The acids will help you maintain a positive balance of nitrogen in the body, and this will ensure proper synthesis of the protein. Now, if you want to achieve full anabolic state, you must seek for the correct quantity and types of amino acids and consume them. This could only be achieved through meals like chicken, white eggs, skim milk and even turkey. Now, if your high intensity exercise will include running, then you may as well consider meals like whey protein. This will also give you the needed amino acids for positive balance of nitrogen. 3-2 hours before you hit the gym for the strenuous workout, you need to take at least 20 to 40 grams of protein.

Your muscle synthesis will increase positively when you consume protein with or without carbohydrates before exercises. When you consume protein before your workout, you will also enjoy improved muscle recovery, increase in performance, and increase in lean body mass and strength.

A meal in the league of the ones below will do;

Protein powder, mixed berries, and banana on a meal of protein smoothie

  • Whole grain cereal with some milk
  • Banana and sliced almonds toppling on a cup of oatmeal
  • Fruit preserve sandwich and natural almond butter on whole grain bread


Fats may not be so significant in our study, but it deserves a mention. Now, the glycogen is very essential for the high intensity and short time workouts. However, when it comes to the moderate to low intensity exercises for a longer period of time, fats are the real deal. So, if you intend to spend more time at the gym, then you need to consume adequate fat 3 -2 hours before the workout.  It is good to consume fat before the exercise especially if you feel you have not been consuming enough fat. But, the best method is to get involved in high fat diets for a long period of time before the exercises; not just a few hours before.

For instance, if you want to achieve an increased endurance level in running, consuming about 40% of high fat diet four weeks before you start running will be very invaluable.

60- 45 Minutes before Workout – Fruits and Whole Grain

Having consumed the adequate quantity of carbs, protein, and fat, you can only have fruits and vegetables one hour to 45 minutes before the workout session. They will be the best addition you will make to the pre workout meal at this point in time. They will add the fast digesting carbs that will complement the slow digesting carbs you have consumed.

These types of energy source are offered by fruits especially the oranges that we all know and love. When you see the bodybuilders having oranges on their hands and sucking on them ferociously, just know it is one hour before they hit the gym. While the oranges equip us with the needed simple carbohydrates, they also do the extra work of equipping us with Vitamin C and the electrolytes. You can also have bananas. They have been described by many people as Natures Powder. In bananas are contained large quantities of digestive carbohydrates. They also come with potassium in large quantity, and this will help to make the muscles and nerves function well. It is good to eat this just about 45 minutes before the workout because potassium is not stored in the body for a long time.

You can also have oats at this point. They are rich in fiber. Because of this, they will give your bloodstream enough carbohydrates. With this, your energy level will remain in a stable point all through the workout. They also have good volume of Vitamin Bs, and with this, carbohydrates are easily converted into usable energy. You can also get the needed digestive carbs from wholegrain breads. When this is taken with honey or jam, they offer more fuel to the body.

30-15 Minutes before Workout – Supplements

By 30 to 15 minutes, the high carbs, the low carbs, the protein, fats, and the fruits must have digested. You now need to make the final nutritional preparation before you hit the gym. It will now be the time for dietary supplements for sports. You can select from an avalanche of supplements around. The most advised or recommended are the fast acting supplements. These are the types that the bloodstream can easily absorb, so that they can work as fast as possible and their results will be felt easily. Some of the most popular products are those with creatine, caffeine and arginine contents. You can also use Branched-Chain Amino Acids and beta-alinine.

  • Caffeine

The benefit of caffeine is that it will enhance your level of focus. It will also help with your level of energy and intensity in the gym. It helps in fat burning and also reduces the feelings of fatigue. You can take it through energy drinks, tea, coffee, and some pills

  • Argenine

If you go for argenine, then you will be looking at increased peak vasodilation that will give amazing muscle pumps.

  • Creatine

This has the ability to work on the muscle mass and muscle fiber size. It also enhances the power and strength of the muscle and at the same time reduces fatigue.

  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

They involve the amino acids regarded as the essential ones. They include isoleucine, leucine and valine. With these, muscle damage is decreased and the protein synthesis of the muscles enhanced.

  • Beta-Alanine

This is also an amino acid, and its work is to increase the volume of carnosine in the muscles.  For the short and strenuous exercises, this works best. This will increase the capacity to exercise and endure, and reduce fatigue in you.

Follow these with the highest amount of religiosity, and you will see the chances you desire in your body. They will make your workout sessions result oriented, enhancing endurance, building muscles and supplying the needed fuel and energy.

About the author:
William Benetton is a traveler and writer. He loves writing on many kinds of sport and tourism. Also, last few months he passionate about web design and here you can see his best designs project. He can’t imagine his life without sport, travel and morning coffee.