There are lots of people out there who workout on an empty stomach, whether it’s to save calories or because they think eating will “weigh them down”. However, your body needs nutrition to fuel your weight session, or at least an effective one. But with that said, it needs the RIGHT nutrition. So let’s break down any pre-workout meal fear to find the proper ingredients that will give you the best results.
It’s pretty well-known that complex carbohydrates are, in general, better for your health than simple carbs. Why?
COMPLEX AND SIMPLE CARBS:
Complex carbs are a group of sugar molecules chained together and therefor take longer for your body to digest. Many complex carbs contain fiber, vitamins and minerals. Therefore they enter the blood stream at a steady, more prolonged rate. On the other hand simple sugars (fructose and glucose) digest quickly, entering your blood stream rapidly, spiking insulin levels. The insulin prompts cells to absorb the sugar for energy (muscles and liver) and then the remaining into storage (fat cells).
WHEN THE SIMPLE CARB “SUGAR RUSH” IS GOOD
Sometimes we actually WANT to elevate blood sugar levels and flood sugar or energy to our muscles! Like say, just before lifting? And because simple sugars do not contain the fiber, vitamins and minerals that complex carbs contain, they won’t leave that “brick in your stomach” feeling we are all familiar with. So this is when simple sugars can be your friend, especially for those early morning workouts when you don’t have the luxury of carb’ing up hours before your workout.
Consume a small pre-workout meal that’s equal parts fast digesting simple carbs and protein 30-60 minutes before your workout. Of course body type, metabolism and size will determine how fast your meal is digested and exactly how much you need.
GREAT SIMPLE CARBS:
- White flour products (bagels, pasta, bread)
- White rice and white rice products like rice cakes
- Yogurt (make it greek yogurt and get even more protein as well)
- Egg whites
- Whey protein
- chicken breast (white meat)
- Peanut butter
A plain bagel with 4 egg whites is a great choice, or two rice cakes with 2 tbsp. peanut butter and sliced bananas to change it up.