Nutrition Before Workout

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in general, nutrition plays a fundamental role; before engaging in a training session, for example in the gym, it is necessary that the body is put in conditions to:

  • Withstand the most intense training stimulus as best as possible
  • Quickly recover between sets
  • Extend the performance for as long as necessary
  • Keeping blood sugar constant for proper brain function
  • Never reach levels of energy and hydro-saline depletion such as to require excessively long muscle recovery between one session and another.

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Nutrition before training in the gym therefore has the function of creating all the conditions necessary to achieve the desired performance; moreover, contrary to what one might think, it is also implicated (albeit NOT directly) in the post-workout recovery potential. In other words, nutrition is an essential component that heavily affects the effectiveness of the training stimulus.
To facilitate the understanding of "what and how much" to eat before training, we will divide the nutritional principles of nutrition into two categories:

  • nutrients to be guaranteed through daily nutrition
  • nutrients to be guaranteed through nutrition before training in the gym.

NB. Introducing some foods in the other meals of the day rather than before training does NOT mean that they are not essential to the subject who trains, quite the opposite! Unfortunately, the sportsman's diet must also take into account digestion and metabolization times, hypersensitivity (if any), subjectivity, training time, etc., therefore, it is not always possible to significantly "load" the meal. before the workout.

", that is, those that perform functions: structural, bioregulation, precursion, etc. By examining the macronutrients, it is possible to define that: the essential amino acids deriving from proteins with high biological value (meat, fish, eggs, association of legumes and cereals, etc.) and the essential omega3 and omega6 fatty acids contained in the oils (extra virgin olive oil, soybean, flax, fish, etc.) must be guaranteed ESPECIALLY by the daily nutritional balance; they represent a fundamental substrate for numerous metabolic functions as well as for muscle recovery from training (also called supercompensation). Therefore, amino acids and fats must be supplied in the right quantities and carefully distributed in the daily diet, in order to constantly guarantee their metabolic availability . The same goes for vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants, fiber and water.

The water supply, although it needs an "appropriate compensation even during training, must not be neglected throughout the day. Body hydration is essential for maintaining the overall physiological efficiency, especially the renal; the athlete is a subject who engages in activities and efforts that often transcend the common predisposition of the human body; therefore, even the metabolic reactions (and needs) are different compared to a sedentary person. respiratory, circulatory, skeletal systems, etc. they are the clear proof of this; however, this adaptation occurs in response to a "set of stimuli that affect the composition of the blood. The" azotemia rises, the buffer systems are hyperactivated, the production of ketone bodies increases, the catecholamines modify the overall hormonal structure, and so on. ; but to allow gases, nutrients, hormonal mediators and all other substances dissolved in the blood to reach the various districts, the blood plasma MUST maintain a certain volume, therefore a certain transport capacity.Therefore, a hydrated organism is first of all an organism that responds correctly to stimuli and that recovers to the best of its ability; But that is not all! The hydration of the blood also affects post-exercise recovery; considering that the metabolic function of the kidneys is the purification of the blood through filtration, and that in case of dehydration a plasma saving process is activated thanks to which they decrease their own work, it is obvious that the speed of elimination of toxic catabolites (responsible for systemic post-exercise fatigue) is almost directly proportional to the volume of the blood (volemia).

Generally, to ensure the "intake of vitamins and antioxidants, it is sufficient to pay attention to the QUALITY" of the foods that are consumed throughout the day, as (assuming a balanced diet) their intake increases proportionally to the increase in calories. . On the contrary, for minerals (especially potassium [K] and magnesium [Mg]) it is essential to accurately assess the level of overall sweating; if the athlete sweats in a decisive way, it is essential to evaluate together with a professional the possibility of integrating his daily intake of mineral salts through the use of simple over-the-counter products.




Protein Snack - Pre-Workout Snack

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and post-exercise physical recovery are distributed more or less equally throughout the day (except for other needs such as weight loss); the same cannot be said for cross-country and middle-distance athletes, who would need a post meal. -different exercise (much more energetic) than that recommended after weight training (containing a higher protein ration). Assuming that when working with people and not with numbers, all recommendations are subject to individual compliance (or tolerability), in principle it is possible to define that:


the meal before training in the gym must have characteristics of:

  • High digestibility
  • High energy density (never less than 250-300kcal)
  • Carbohydrate prevalence, possibly deriving from foods (and not supplements such as maltodextrin or vitargo) characterized by a medium or rather low glycemic index

Furthermore, it should be consumed at a time distance from training that allows both digestion and (possibly) partial metabolization (fructose); let's go into more detail.
Foods with a prevalence of carbohydrates are above all honey, cereals and derivatives (wheat, barley, rye, spelled and millet, then pasta, bread, biscuits, polenta, etc.), potatoes, chestnuts, fruit (almost all, with the exception of avocado or coconut) and some vegetables. The choice between "one or" other food depends on: the presence of other ingredients (seasoning oil, tuna, cured meats, low-fat cheeses, etc.), food portions and fiber content. proteins contained in other foods significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal due to digestive slowdown; therefore, a mixed meal cannot be consumed less than 2: 30-3: 00h before the session; the same is true for food portions, that is, the greater the quantity of food, the longer the digestion time will be.

As regards dietary fiber, it can be used (for example by inserting vegetables in a sandwich) to slow down the absorption of sugars and prolong their absorption times in the event that you do not have medium or low glycemic index foods; it is however advisable to remember that: exaggerating with the intake of dietary fiber could excessively dilate the waiting times before the session.
In short, nutrition before training in the gym must first of all ensure energy support for:

  • Save reserve glycogen
  • Maintain good blood glucose levels until the start of the session.

It follows that the food choice must above all prefer foods with a good energy density but with a medium or low glycemic index, so as not to cause an excessive insulin peak that would quickly reduce blood sugar and negatively affect the state of mental concentration at the "beginning of" work out. It is possible to consume some fruits (apple, pear, orange etc.), which in addition to being easily digested, have a sufficiently low glycemic index, perhaps associating them with a small portion of basmati rice, or wholemeal pasta or a sandwich with grilled peppers. or to another fruit with a high glycemic index (ripe banana) or to some corn / rice / wheat biscuit with honey / unsweetened jam etc. The association of a low-calorie fruit, but containing dietary fiber, to another food characterized by a higher glycemic index, allows you to balance the absorption of carbohydrates and to keep the blood sugar fairly constant over time (up to about 2: 00h); the same applies to some vegetables (carrots, potatoes and peeled peppers) if accompanied to plain white bread.

Alternatively, for less susceptible people, it is possible to eat up to 30 "before training; obviously, with a similar timing it will be essential to make use of simple carbohydrates (honey, banana, sweet jam, etc.) or semi-complex (WELL COOKED lean bread) with a high glycemic index, in order to drastically reduce absorption times without worrying about the peak insulin which will be automatically moderated by the increase in catecholamines during training.


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