Nutrition fads come and go, and most have a differing opinion on what is best- but what we can all agree is that fuelling correctly for exercise is beneficial to your performance as well as your recovery in both training and competition.
Eating before activity can delay fatigue and help you exercise at your best. A tired athlete won’t perform well and may lose power, strength, and speed during a workout. Additionally, eating before exercise can help with focus and mental alertness.
When planning a pre-workout snack, first consider the timing. In general, as you get closer to exercise time, the snack or meal should get smaller and higher in carbohydrates. If there are three or more hours before a workout, a carbohydrate-rich meal with some protein and fat can be consumed with plenty of time for the food to be digested and absorbed before exercise. Protein and fat take longer to digest, so as time to exercise gets closer, there should be a greater focus on consuming carbohydrate-rich foods.
Drinking plenty of fluids before (and during) exercise helps prevent fatigue and dehydration, especially when exercising in hot and humid conditions. Many exercisers begin their workout slightly dehydrated, so it’s important to grab some water before training to help optimize your performance.