Pre-Exercise Nutrition to help you train at your best.

pre exercise nutrition

Nutrition for Recovery: Pre-Exercise

Last week we spoke about different recovery strategies to use after hard training sessions. The next couple of weeks will focus on nutritional strategies for pre and post exercise. This week we will focus on what to eat prior to exercise.

Your last big meal should be consumed around 3-4 hours prior to exercise. This meal should be high in carbohydrate and low in fat and fiber to allow digestion. But just remember this will also be affected by individual differences. Some people may even fine that this is too close or not close enough.

Examples include:

  • crumpets with jam/ honey
  • baked beans on toast
  • breakfast cereal with milk
  • bread roll with meat filling
  • fruit salad with yoghurt
  • pasta or rice with low-fat sauce (tomato, vegetables, lean meat)

1-2 hours prior to exercise:

  • liquid meal
  • milk shake/ fruit smoothie
  • Sports/cereal bars
  • breakfast cereal with milk
  • fruit-flavoured yoghurt
  • fruit

If you are feeling a little hungry less than an hour prior to exercise some ideals snacks are:

  • sports drink/cordial
  • carbohydrate gel
  • sports bars
  • jelly lollies

The most important thing to realise about pre-exercise nutrition is to experiment to see what works for you. Pre-exercise nutrition is highly individualised as different people handle different foods. For example some people cannot stomach milk in the hours leading up to exercise so they should avoid cereals, milk shakes and smoothies. It is important to practice your pre-exercise nutrition during training and not on competition day.

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