Intention here is to give you a few ideas for pre workout meals. Plus give the reasoning behind them. I get asked all the time “what should i eat before training”
The importance of eating before a work out is supported in a recent report published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, which evaluated recent studies and summarised results. The research in this area showed no difference in fat loss in those eating before doing a cardio workout and those who fasted before. It also suggested that over a 24 hour period, more fat may be burned when food is eaten before a workout as there is a greater thermogenic response to the cardio workout than if exercise is done in the fasted state, meaning more calories continue to be burnt after the workout.
It was also suggested that working out without eating beforehand may contribute to an increase in loss of muscle mass, something that is generally undesirable. This is due to increased loss of nitrogen when no food is eaten before the workout. Muscle burns more calories than fat at a resting rate, so generally more muscle contributes to burning more calories and reducing fat. Finally the report suggested that training intensity was reduced when done after fasting, meaning that less calories are burnt.
Most people fear eating too close to their CrossFit WOD less they might make it onto the pukie board. In my experience a small amount of easily digestible food eaten an hour before will not come back up…unless your doing FRAN in which case you’ll be too nervous to eat anyway.
Everybody digests differently and after a few trials you will know yourself well enough to determine if you need 2 hours pre workout to digest, or if you can get away with eating closer to the session.
So you want to choose food that will give you some fat for fuel, a little protein for muscle repair and some carbs for an energy spike.As a general rule I stay away from shakes pre wod. I do like good quality dairy but it digests too slowly so stick with other foods. Here are my 3 faves:
- Chicken and a third of an avocado- We are talking snack size people, so like half an iphone piece of chicken. The goal is not to be full when its time to lift! I like thigh fillets the best! Always cook extra chicken the night you cook it and keep in the fridge for pre workout snack.
- Sweet potato and steak- Same portion size as the chicken and with the sweet potato, I bake mine in slices so about half a handful. Sweet potato is low glycemic meaning the energy is released slow. Making it ideal for pre workout meals. I eat a lot of sweet potato…
- Juicy peach/half a mango and 6 brazil nuts- The fruit gives you the glucose energy spike and gets some glucose into the blood stream and the brazil nuts are just awesome. Packed with selenium a natural testosterone booster.