Carbs or Protein: What Should You Eat Before a Workout?
When it comes to pre-workout nutrition, there are two main camps: those who believe in loading up on carbs and those who believe in consuming mostly protein. So, which is the right approach? It turns out, the answer may depend on your goals. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each approach.
The Case for Carbs
If your goal is to maximize your performance in the gym, then you may want to consider consuming carbs before your workout. That’s because carbs are your body’s primary fuel source during exercise. Consuming carbs before you workout can help you maintain your intensity and power through those last few reps. Complex carbs such as oatmeal or sweet potatoes are a good option because they’ll give you sustained energy without making you feel too full or bloated.
The Case for Protein
On the other hand, if your goal is to build muscle, then you may want to focus on consuming protein before your workout. That’s because protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Consuming protein before your workout can help jumpstart that muscle-building process. Plus, it can also help reduce post-workout soreness. Good sources of protein include lean meats such as chicken or turkey, as well as dairy products such as cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.
No matter what your fitness goals are, pre-workout nutrition is important. However, the right approach for you may depend on what exactly you’re hoping to achieve. If you’re looking to boost your performance in the gym, then complex carbs are a good option. However, if you’re trying to build muscle, then protein should be your go-to nutrient. Experiment with both approaches and see what works best for you!
What should I eat before a workout carbs or protein? The closer you eat before a workout, you’ll want your foods to be in higher carbohydrates and lower in fats. If you are eating 30-60 minutes before: It is recommended that you eat a high carbohydrate, moderate protein, and low fat snack before exercising.
What is good to eat before a workout?
- Protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana and mixed berries.
- Whole-grain cereal and milk.
- A cup of oatmeal topped with banana and sliced almonds.
- Natural almond butter and fruit preserve sandwich on whole-grain bread.
How do you carb up before a workout? A good rule of thumb, Sklaver says, is to eat 25 percent of your daily carbohydrate allotment 1 to 4 hours before a workout and another 25 percent within 45 minutes of finishing your workout. The remaining 50 percent of your carbohydrates should be evenly distributed throughout the day.
Do I need carbs before a workout? The body digests complex carbohydrates more slowly than simple carbohydrates. To increase energy ahead of a workout, a person should consume complex carbohydrates 2–3 hours in advance, and any simple carbohydrates 30–60 minutes in advance.