Written by Arlene Semeco
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are always looking for ways to improve their performance and achieve their goals.
Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout.
Optimal nutrient intake prior to exercise will not only help you maximize your performance but also minimize muscle damage (1Trusted Source).
Here is everything you need to know about pre-workout nutrition.
Fueling your body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will give you the energy and strength you need to perform better.
Each macronutrient has a specific role before a workout. However, the ratio in which you need to consume them varies by the individual and type of exercise (2Trusted Source).
Below is a brief look at the role of each macronutrient.
Your muscles use the glucose from carbs for fuel.
Glycogen is the way the body processes and stores glucose, mainly in the liver and muscles.
For short- and high-intensity exercise, your glycogen stores are your muscles’ main source of energy (3Trusted Source).
But for longer exercises, the degree to which carbs are used depends on several factors. These include the intensity, type of training and your overall diet (3Trusted Source).
Many studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance.
Other benefits of eating protein before exercise include:
- A better anabolic response, or muscle growth (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source)
- Improved muscle recovery (12Trusted Source)
- Increased strength and lean body mass (13Trusted Source)
- Increased muscle performance (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source)
While glycogen is used for short- and high-intensity bouts of exercise, fat is the source of fuel for longer and moderate-to-low-intensity exercise (14Trusted Source).
Some studies have investigated the effects of fat intake on athletic performance. However, these studies looked at high-fat diets over a long period, rather than prior to exercise (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
For example, one study showed how a four-week diet consisting of 40% fat increased endurance running times in healthy, trained runners (15Trusted Source).