To eat or not to eat before workouts? Kickboxing Conditioning at UFC GYM is a high intensity workout. Here are some things to consider when deciding what and when to eat before a full body, high-intensity workout:
- When was the last time you ate?
- Do you have a body composition goal – such as losing body fat or gaining muscle?
- What gives you the highest energy levels during your workouts?
When it comes to training at a high level, carbohydrates are king. Not enough can result in early physical and mental fatigue, low blood sugar levels, and related symptoms such as dizziness. Obviously, you don’t want blood sugar to drop, and you don’t want to send your body into a catabolic state. You’ve got some options depending on your schedule, lifestyle and what agrees with your body during workouts:
- Consume a balanced meal 2-4 hours before intense workouts like Kickboxing Conditioning. This would include carbohydrate rich foods like rice or potatoes with your favorite lean protein and veggies. You can also add some healthy fats from nuts, plant oils or avocado. As a general rule, the more time you have before workout, the larger the meal can be.
- Another option is to have a fast digesting, smaller meal right before your workouts. If your goal is to gain build muscle, you can do this in addition to a normal meal 2-4 hours beforehand. Here are some options:
MEAL OPTION 1:
Smoothie with your favorite fruit/veggies and protein power. Use milk or water depending on calorie needs.
MEAL OPTION 2:
PB&J paired with an apple or banana
MEAL OPTION 3:
Sports bar with at least a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein and minimal fat
If you’re pressed for time and can’t eat before an intense workout, consider a sports drink (6-8% carbohydrates with electrolytes) to keep your blood sugar and hydration levels up. Another option is to eat small bites of solid food (banana, dried fruit, sports bar or gel) with water to prevent stomach upset. Eating during a workout is especially important if you haven’t eaten for several hours and adding some protein from essential amino acids will help minimize muscle breakdown.
Author: Kat Barefield, MS, RDN, CPT, CES, PES, Registered Dietitian Nutition