What’s the best thing to consume before a workout? Protein shakes? A pre-workout? But first…coffee?
The foods and drinks you consume before and after workouts can be a highly contested topic. And if it seems like there are a lot of differing opinions and too many options to choose from, it’s because the honest truth is, the perfect formula or substance doesn’t exist. The way our bodies react to what we consume before a workout varies from person to person.
But if you’re curious, let’s take a look at three common pre-workout choices:
You hear a lot of people talk about the importance of consuming protein after a workout. Still, there’s something to be said for your pre-workout protein consumption, as well. Protein is popular both pre and post-workout because of the role it plays in building muscle. Your body uses protein and amino acids in muscle synthesis. By consuming protein before a workout (rather than waiting until after), your body gets a jumpstart on the process. To avoid getting an upset stomach during your workout, try to time your protein consumption so that you get it in at least an hour beforehand.
Pre-workout isn’t the only way to ensure you have a great workout. And with the multitude of options on the market, how do you know which one might give you an extra boost? You can start by matching the ingredients of a pre-workout supplement to the goal of your workout. For example, if a WOD is focused on building strength with lots of heavy lifting, use a pre-workout that contains amino acids, including branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). If the WOD is more about endurance, then make sure your pre-workout accounts for proper hydration with electrolytes and also contains caffeine.
Drinking coffee before a workout can help you feel more physically ready to workout and more mentally prepared. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system making you more alert and ready to work out. However, if you work out in the evenings, drinking coffee or ingesting caffeine can make it hard to fall asleep. You might be better off drinking water and skipping the coffee for workouts that you do later in the day. And as a side note, before downing a cup of coffee before a workout, it’s also a good idea to take into account the effect coffee tends to have on your digestive system.
When considering the best thing to consume before a workout, figure out what’s best for your body and workout performance, and run with it.
Are you interested in making classes at Rhapsody Fitness part of your workout routine? To learn more about Rhapsody Fitness in Charleston and our range of programs, get in touch with Team Rhapsody today.