A guide to pre workout snacksA good pre workout snack is essential for fueling you up before your workout routine. Protein is vital for muscle growth and carbs are essential for providing energy. Whatever the type of exercise you’re doing, it is recommended to eat a pre workout snack one hour to half hour before exercising in order to provide your body with the necessary energy and nutrients.
Your body’s ability to build muscle is affected by the amount of protein you eat. Pre workout protein can enhance muscle growth. If you eat a good amount of protein in advance of your working out routine, at the time of your exercising the blood levels of amino acids will be quite high. Due to its spiking plasma amino acid levels, pre workout protein can help you build more muscle. Whey protein is particularly a good form of pre workout protein because it can be faster digested.
Carbs in your pre workout snack can improve performance. Eating carbs half an hour before exercising will provide additional fuel for your muscles. This it will help you have more reps and push more weight, indirectly helping you to build more muscle mass over time. The best form of carbs for your pre workout snack depends on the type of exercise in your routine. If you perform endurance exercises then the best form of carbs are the low glycemic carbohydrates. If your routine is made up of shorter and more intense exercises, then the high glycemic carbohydrates are best to choose. For a noticeable improvement in workout performance it is recommended to have 25 to 50 grams of carbs in your pre workout snack, half an hour before training.
There are theories that say you can reduce carbs utilization during workout by increasing pre workout fat intake, and thereby improve your workout performance. However, studies have proved otherwise. It appears that fat intake in your pre workout snack will not have beneficial effects on exercise performance.
Some special ingredients in your pre workout snack can improve performance:
- Caffeine - increases muscle strength and endurance
- Theanine – improves blood flow, increases productions of nitric oxide, and reduces the effects of physical and mental stress
- Citrulline malate – relives muscle soreness, improves muscle endurance and aerobic performance.
- Beta-alanine – improves anaerobic exercise capacity, reduces exercise induced fatigue, and
- Ornithine – promotes lipid oxidation, reduces muscle fatigue, and increases human growth hormone production
- Betaine – increases human growth hormone production and improves muscle endurance and strength
Good choices of pre workout snack can be fruit and nut bars, or pre workout shakes.