Getting your pre-workout nutrition correct can sometimes be quite tricky. If you’re training early doors, do you get up extra early to have a proper breakfast, or do you wing it and grab something after? Do you have a big, nutritious lunch, hoping that will see you through your after work workout?
Whatever your strategy, you may also need a backup plan, just in case something crops up which could throw you completely off course and even mean you cancel your session altogether.
Believe me, I’ve had plenty of times where my pre-workout nutrition has gone completely to pot – eaten too much and felt sluggish and sick, not eaten enough and felt totally empty and weak. I can’t work out which was worse, but neither were an experience that I’m in a hurry to repeat!
Thinking so much about what you eat and how it can affect your training sessions may seem a bit too serious for some, but I can’t stress enough how important nutrition is to performance and the goals you are working towards – like choosing the crappiest little twigs to try and build a fire big enough to heat a whole village (naff metaphor, but you can see what I’m trying to get at). Basically, the fuel you put in determines the results you get out. You want to put effort into your session, and not have the hard work going to waste for the sake of an extra 10 minutes planning.
So, if you’re thinking of getting an early morning gym session in, think about breakfast the night before and plan ahead. A quick banana when you get up for a burst of energy and then porridge once the sessions finished is a perfect combination.
If you’re going for a run straight from work, think about having a mid-afternoon snack to keep your energy levels up.
Always avoid fatty or overly sugary foods before a workout as they’ll just leave you feeling thirsty and sluggish, but try and get a balance of carbohydrates and proteins if you can.
Over time you’ll get to know what your body can cope with (and what it can’t!!) and what suits you best for the time of day you train. Throughout my running years, 2 slices of toast and marmite and a black coffee would see me through the toughest of sessions and, even now, I can use this as my go-to pre-workout snack – although I have branched out to peanut butter J. The point is, I know what I can train on and what to avoid.
If you’re struggling with your nutrition, or just need some more information, feel free to get in touch.