Previously on the Twitch Fitness blog, we have offered suggestions of specific snacks to eat before or after a workout. Today, we wanted to go a little deeper about what your body needs on a macronutrient level to fuel a grueling workout.

What Your Body Needs Before A Workout

Carb Up

Have you ever heard the advice that a marathoner should eat a giant plate of spaghetti the night before a race? This isn’t completely unsound advice. Eating carbs before a workout gives your body energy to burn and allows you to give your all to a workout. While many people turn to low-carb diets when trying to lose weight, this can actually wreak havoc on the body if you do intense workouts multiple times per week. It is estimated that 80% of your energy comes from glycogen derived from carbohydrates. However, choosing the right types of carbs will be the difference between sustained energy and a sugar rush. Choose carb sources like fresh fruit and whole grains that are rich in fiber. 1-2 hours before your workout is the ideal time to eat carbohydrates. This gives your body time to process the carbs so they will be ready to use as energy.

Protein

In general, you want to shoot for somewhere between a 3:1 and a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein when getting ready for a workout – however, this doesn’t mean that protein isn’t important. Eating protein before a workout helps to deliver blood, nutrients, and oxygen to your muscles during a workout. The more strenuous your exercise routine is, the more protein you will need to help repair muscle tissue and promote protein synthesis. When the rate of protein synthesis is greater than the rate of protein breakdown, you can create lean muscle mass.

Pre-Hydrate

We’ve all experienced getting super thirsty in the middle of a workout. Through heavy breathing and profuse sweating, we instinctively chug half of our water bottle. Before we know it, our stomachs are cramping up as we try to continue our workout. To combat this during-workout parchedness, start pre-hydrating several hours before your workout. Drink a couple glasses of water about 2 hours before your workout, and about half a glass right before your workout. This will help ward off that sudden thirst. During your workout, frequently take sips of water when you need it (your body will tell you when it is time), and try to avoid chugging your water.

Fuel Your Body Before Your Twitch Fitness Class

If you reserved a spot in one of our upcoming classes, be sure to give your body the nutrients it needs to participate in a high-intensity workout.