Gearing up for a big workout ahead? If so, you need to ensure you’re getting the proper nourishment. The foods you eat before you hit the gym will greatly determine your performance, your energy level, and quite possibly, your results. It’s not something to be taken lightly. But yet, some people are still not planning out a proper pre-workout meal and instead, grabbing whatever comes their way. Or worse, they’re eating nothing and doing that workout without any fuel. Let’s look at what a good pre-workout meal should consist of and then give you a few meal ideas to get you started. The Commandments Of A Good Pre-Workout Meal Before intense exercise, your body requires two things: lean protein and carbohydrates. Now, you don’t want to provide very simple carbohydrates at this time as that’ll lead to a blood sugar and energy spike, which while may feel great for the start of your workout, will have you crashing partway through. Instead, complex carbohydrates are what you want. These will sustain you through until the end. How many carbohydrates you need will largely depend on your goals, your current body weight, and how long you plan to exercise. Most people will be best served with 25-50 grams a few hours prior to exercise. On the protein side of things, 25-30 grams is sufficient for most individuals. If are heavier or are on a very strict fat loss diet, bumping up to 35-45 grams may be required. Fat, as it will slow digestion and could cause you to feel sluggish should be avoided at this time. Meal Tips To Help You Reach Success So what should you eat? How can you fuel yourself right? Some people prefer having a liquid shake at this time. If you are exercising within 90 minutes, the liquid will digest faster and therefore may put you at a lower risk of experiencing unwanted cramping during the workout session. If that’s the case, blend together some protein powder, ground oats, a half a banana, along with some almond milk. On the other hand, if it’s a few hours until you plan to hit the gym, a solid food meal is your best bet. Some great ideas include: • Grilled chicken with brown rice • Fish with sweet potatoes • Oatmeal and egg whites • Turkey served with quinoa All of these will give you the lean protein you need combined with the complex carbohydrates to fuel your body well. So there you have the facts about pre-workout nutrition. Your meal should average around 250-400 calories and should be consumed anywhere between 90 minutes and two and a half hours prior to the workout. Learn your body and how well it tolerates food before exercise. Don’t overlook this meal any longer though as it may very well determine the results you see from all the hard work you’re putting in at the gym.