Boost your exercise performance by fuelling up right pre-workout.
Don’t skip eating and drinking before exercise. (Photo: Kaspars Grinvalds / www.123rf.com)
Do you usually skip eating or drinking before your workouts? It could be because you’re trying to lose weight and cutting down on food intake. Or because you don’t want to wait that two hours for your food to be digested before exercise. Bad news: you’re doing it wrong. Bibi Chia, principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, Raffles Medical Group, explains.
Why are pre-workout meals important?
Pre-workout meals help you achieve your maximum potential when you exercise, says Bibi. It helps to give you the fuel you need to power through your workout, and helps to improve concentration. For weight watchers, know that pre-workout meals increase your metabolism, which aids in losing weight.
What should I eat before exercise?
Your pre-workout meal should be nutritionally balanced and include some form of protein and complex carbohydrates that are easily digested and low in fat. Bibi recommends meals that comprise at least 200 grams of carbohydrates, like a bowl of oatmeal, whole-grain toast or cereal, egg sandwich and low fat yoghurt.
Carbohydrates help fuel your training, improve your performance, increase muscle retention and growth, improve protein synthesis, prevent protein breakdown as well as aids in recovery.
Have your pre-workout meal about two to four hours before your workout to avoid becoming nauseated or uncomfortable during exercise.
Should I hydrate myself before exercise?
Yes, because proper hydration improves the quality of your workout, reduces fatigue and increases your level of satisfaction, says Bibi. You will lose water as you exercise – even without heavy perspiration – so it is essential to hydrate pre-workout.
Drink about two to three cups of water (473 to 710ml), two to three hours before your workout.
This article was written by Stella Phua and first appeared in Raffles Healthnews. It has been adapted for www.shape.com.sg.