ENTREPRENEUR | ATHLETE _
I am going preface this by saying blatantly that this post will be a concoction of my opinion, some academic literature, some anecdotes from personal experience, some tid-bits from the observation of others, and some taken from the opinions of expert chiropractors, nutritionists, and multiple bodybuilding coaches. Use it if you want. I suggest you read it though.
A common question that I am asked is “Neal, what the heck do I eat before I workout?” Although different diets have different functions, and what you consume on a day to day/hour to hour basis must be different than the person next to you, I am going to assume that your goals during your workouts is either functional, or body composition related. In other words, you are either looking to perform better, whether it is athletically, biomechnically, or physiologically or you are aiming to looking better meaning you want that bikini to look good in June, or those abs to become washboards.
Nonetheless, the objective of your pre-workout meal should be to fuel your workout so that you can optimally meet and obliterate your goals. Recently, I have taken a relatively anti-carbohydrate stance because of the host of insulin-spiking related and various other related health issues that recent academic literature (and not-so-recent literature that has been hidden by massive food conglomerates like Kraft foods and Coca-cola) has alluded to. Particularly, higher-glycemic or insulin spiking foods, and processed carbohydrates like maltodextrin are truly the devil. However, unprocessed carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, beans, and vegetables, can and should be consumed at moderate amounts by those who don’t train (although practically everyone should workout), and ABSOLUTELY MUST be consumed by those who train.
Not only is it necessary for those who work-out to consume carbohydrates, but it would be most advantageous to consume carbohydrates in close proximity to your workouts. When you pound the weights, hit the pads, or play a sport, your body utilizes an energy source called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). To maximize your workouts, you should consume a high amount of ATP in close proximity to your workout! Guess what breaks down in ATP: You guessed it, carbohydrates.
The catabolism (break-down) of carbohydrates into useable ATP is a process that occurs every time you work out. The ideal workout meal in my opinion is a portion of oatmeal or steel-cut oats, with blueberries, bananas, and cinnamon. Here’s why:
Bananas & Blueberries
Oatmeal or Steel Cut Oats
Try this pre-workout meal for a week, and think about the following. How do you feel during your workouts? How do you muscles feel? Fuller? Flatter? Are you gaining muscle, body-fat, or neither when eating like this?
Your favorite trainer told you to eat carbohydrates so go do it without any guilt. Just make sure it is an hour or less before your workout. Otherwise, I’ll get mad. Go enjoy your oatmeal dreamers and crush your workouts on this lovely #FlexFriday!