Pre-Workout Nutrition: What Should You Consume?
The benefits of exercise are numerous, but if you want to optimize these benefits you have to take care of your body while you exercise. When you start exercising, your body’s needs are dramatically different than when you are sitting. It demands more vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and protein.
What you put into your body before working out can have a significant impact on its ability to sustain the rigors of exercise in both the short and long term. In addition to eating a healthy, well-balanced meal, there are a few key ingredients you can take pre-workout to help maximize your performance.
Caffeine may help you stay awake, but did you know that it can also help you in the gym or during a game? Caffeine is one of the most well-studied ergogenic aids, which are substances that help support athletic performance and physical activity. Many athletes use caffeine to enhance their focus and boost their energy, especially before working out, training or playing sports. Typically, the effects of caffeine will peak around 20-45 minutes after consumption but will remain in your system for several hours. Try consuming caffeine 15 to 30 minutes before starting a workout.
Nitric Oxide Precursors
One goal of pre-exercise nutrition is to help enhance blood flow. Wider blood vessels support the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to working muscles during exercise, which then helps maintain your performance. One way to do this is by taking a pre-workout supplement with Nitric Oxide precursors.
Carbohydrates are the body’s go-to fuel source for producing quick, easy energy. Metabolizing carbohydrates is an easier and more efficient way for the body to produce energy than using fats or proteins. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscles as glycogen; however, we are only able to store a limited supply of glycogen at any given time. Depleting your glycogen stores can hinder performance. By consuming carbohydrates before exercise, you can fill up your body’s energy stores to help fuel your workout.
Prepare for Your Workout
You can consume these ingredients on their own by drinking coffee or tea (for caffeine), but many pre-workout supplements, like Herbalife24® Prepare, come with a combination of these ingredients to help maximize your workout. These supplements, often found in powdered form, can be mixed with water and consumed 15 to 30 minutes before you head out to train for the day.