Everyone wants to look and feel their best, and a great workout is the first step to achieving your total look. A good fitness routine will help keep the body fit and toned, increase energy and endurance and create a sense of general health and well-being. A good pre-workout meal is equally important because your body requires an adequate supply of energy to sustain endurance and aid in swift recovery after each session.
High-quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats are needed to boost energy levels and help build muscle mass during your workout. Ideally, they should be consumed at least 30 minutes to two hours before your workout and should be no more than 50% of your regular meals.
A Pre-Workout Meal Is Essential For A Number Of Reasons
#1. Builds Energy, Endurance, And Aids In Muscle Recovery
During your workout, small tears occur in muscles, and the amino acids from protein are needed to help repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Protein also helps restore glycogen (energy) levels that can be lost during high-intensity training. With adequate stores of energy, the body obtains maximum benefits from your workout and it helps reduce the incidences of muscle injury and soreness.
#2. Increases Testosterone Levels
High-intensity training helps increase testosterone levels in males. Testosterone is the male hormone that helps build strong bones and muscle mass, and also assists in quick recovery after workouts. It helps boosts mood, concentration, and libido.
Most males attribute a healthy sex drive as the defining factor of their self-worth and sense of well-being. Healthy testosterones levels help make them feel “manly” and virile. Testosterone also helps the body burn fat and can also affect the way fat is stored in the body. These levels decrease with age and can result in feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth.
Testosterone Levels Can Be Increased By
- Maintaining a good body weight
- High-intensity workouts
- Strength training
- Consuming foods rich in zinc, protein, magnesium and healthy fats.
Good sources of these foods include:
- Lean meat
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains (oats, buckwheat, etc.)
- Green leafy vegetables
- Peas and beans
Vitamin D3 also helps increase testosterone levels: Good sources of vitamin D3 are found in fish, mushrooms, dairy products, and eggs. Controlled exposure to sunlight can also boost absorption of vitamin D3 naturally.
Low testosterone levels affect endurance, well-being, libido, and mood. It can result in weak bones and decreased muscle mass.
Some causes of low stamina include:
- Stress which increases testosterone levels by producing cortisol (stress hormone)
- Fatigue affects endurance and increases feelings of depression and moodiness
- Chronic diseases and viruses (AIDS, Liver and kidney damage, cancer, alcoholism)
- High blood pressure
- Aging: male testosterone levels naturally decrease with age
- Sleep loss depletes vitality and decreases testosterone levels
- Feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth increase anxiety levels and lead to depression
Low Testosterone Levels Can Be Boosted By
Increasing your activity levels through exercise. Exercise helps you tone, condition and strengthen bones and muscles, lose weight and improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Exercise also helps the body relax, improves sleep, and boosts mood to create a greater sense of well-being.
Light, easily digested foods that are low in fat and rich in protein and complex carbohydrates can give the body just what it needs to help fuel your workout. Be careful with consuming high-fat, heavy meals that take longer to digest and will sit in the stomach, slow you down, and make you feel sluggish during working out.
Protein is essential to:
- Help fuel energy during workouts.
- Repair and rebuild muscles.
- Help reduce muscles soreness.
- Help the body recover faster after working out
- Maintain energy levels to help you work out longer without burning out
- Complement the work of protein in helping to sustain energy and endurance
Here Are 7 Foods That Can Help Power Your Workout
Smoothies provide a quick and effective way to consume a complete meal in one easy go. Packed with nutrients, healthy fats and antioxidants from fruits, they are easily digested and keep you full longer. They are sure to rev up your metabolism for increased energy and stamina.
This wonder food is rich in potassium, simple sugars, and magnesium. They are high in calories and help stabilize blood sugar levels during workouts.
Oats are rich in complex carbohydrates and protein. A bowl of oats before your workout will ensure that you maintain a sense of satiety (fullness) to stave off hunger pangs that can slow you down.
Yogurt contains probiotics that help improve digestive health. It is also rich in protein and healthy fats that help balance the hormones. It is easy to digest and low in fat.
#6. Dried Fruits
They are high in sugar and can give a quick boost of energy when needed. They also contain calcium, iron, and protein that help boost energy levels.
#7. Chicken Breasts and Vegetable
Low in fat and rich in quality protein, chicken breasts are ideal for boosting the levels of amino acids in protein which are needed to help build and repair muscle mass during workouts. The vegetables are easy to digest and provide added fiber to aid digestion.
A good pre-workout diet is your best ally to assist in providing the body with lasting energy to increase endurance and help maximize the results of your workout. Healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins create the right combination to help you achieve your workout goals.
I’m Gregory Brown, chief editor at ConstructMuscles.com
I spend half of my time in this blog while the other half on being physical fitness trainer. Believing in the great benefits of bodybuilding and fitness to the body, I’ve been motivated to become a fitness enthusiast. It also was what gave me the self-confidence and assurance within myself both physically and psychologically.