Fuel Your Performance - When to eat before exercise
Fuelling your body for exercise is all about glycogen stores. Carbohydrates are the fuel for almost every type of activity & the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles and your liver has a direct effect on your exercise performance.
In ‘The complete guide to sports nutrition’ (by Anita Bean) it is said that:
“A high muscle-glycogen concentration will allow you to train at your optimal intensity and achieve a greater training effect. A low muscle–glycogen concentration, on the other hand, will lead to early fatigue, reduced training intensity and sub optimal performance.”
If you need to figure out how much carbohydrate you need to eat regularly have a look at our macro calculator here.
So this begs the question, when should I eat to make sure my glycogen stores are full?
Ideally you should aim to eat 2-4 hours before exercise. This should leave enough time for your stomach to settle so that you don’t feel too full or too hungry. This will not only make you more comfortable when exercising but will encourage higher liver and muscle glycogen levels. Obviously this will depend on your daily schedule and how you fit exercise around your normal schedule.
Ideally these meals should have a moderate to high level of carbohydrates, some protein and a low level of fats. This is because proteins and fats take longer to be broken down and will sit longer in the stomach, potentially leading to discomfort in exercise.
These foods could be anything from chicken and rice to sandwiches/wraps or bagels or some meat with whole-grains such as bulgur wheat or quinoa.
If you want a meal that has the right blend of Carbs, Fats & Protein then you can try any of our Fuel For Sports meals. Our meals have an average of 56g of carbohydrates to fuel your performance.
Fore more information on our meals nutritional benefit, head to our online shop here.