A Quick and Easy Guide to Pre-Workout Fueling

Even though some days it might not feel like it, your body is a machine. And for your machine to run at maximum potential, you’ve got to fuel it right. Just as you can’t get movement out of a car if you don’t fill it with gas, your body won’t be much good to you in the gym if you don’t give it the nutrients it needs before you use it.

Far too often, people try to do something simple; it’s usually not enough. Gulp a sports drink here, eat a high sugar candy bar there, and you might feel just satiated enough to make it through your workout. But only just.One of the best and easiest ways to get your dose of high energy fuel before a workout is with a beverage. Not only is it easier and quicker to digest for your body, but it’s easier and quicker to prepare than a full meal. Not to mention the Òon-the-goÓ value of a workout drink. Here’s some quick fueling tips to keep in mind when prepping your body for the gym.

The Golden RatioUsing a 3:1 ratio in the consumption of carbs and protein has long been respected as the optimal dosage for nutrient absorption. If you’re going in for a big workout, and you can let your stomach settle, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein in a beverage is a fantastic way to get yourself in gear.

One scoop of protein powder in watered down orange juice or a sports drink will charge your system with the perfect absorption ratio. A small dose of healthy fats can be added to your beverage with coconut oil or flaxseed to be sure all the nutrients in your beverage get off at the right stop!Now and Later Energy

Dates and agave nectar? You might furrow your brow at that combination, but follow along. Low starch, high-glycemic carbs give you energy now, but unlike starchy breads or bagels, they’ll provide energy for use later on. A smart pairing of glucose and fructose will charge you up immediately, and give you energy for the long haul as well.

It’s the difference between setting a newspaper on fire, or a pile of logs. Which would you rather have your body imitate during your workout? If you decide to consume a starchy energy source, a vegetative or sprout style starch is best. Give your body a source of energy that won’t be burned through immediately, and leave you with a crash.

Do Sweat the Sweat!If you sweat durning your workout (if you’re doing it right, you likely are) you need to replenish what your body is losing: electrolytes.

Hyponatremia is a resulting condition athletes can be faced with if they load up on water, but don’t replenish the sodium you lose with sweat. You lose lots of the salt in your body when you sweat (ever licked your lips during a workout?) and the best way to replenish it is with a high electrolyte beverage fuel.

Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes, as are many sports drinks and gels that are created specifically for this purpose. If you want to ensure your endurance will last through your work out, add a little salt or dulse powder to your pre-workout beverage.

Get Your Buzz OnAs surprising as it may be, caffeine, has been shown to significantly contribute to endurance and performance of athletes. Adding caffeine to your pre-workout fueling isn’t something you should get too used to. Best for occasional usage, caffeine can make your energy buzz feel more prevalent at first, and last longer too.

Too much dependance can lead to a drain on your adrenaline, and slow workout recovery, so be sparing, but adding yerba mate tea or straight mate leaves to your pre-workout beverage can give you that extra splash of energy you need.

Go the Extra MileFollow the above recommendations, and you’re giving yourself a huge head start over the combination, not to mention giving your whole workout a solid kick in the ass. If you want to turn good to great, the addition of superfoods to your drink can take you over the top. Chia seeds, Maca powder, Acai, flaxseed, and more add that extra nutrient dose. And for the most part, there’s just no such thing as too many nutrients.

Good luck!

Terry

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