Here are 3 things to think about when choosing your pre-workout snack. Keep in mind the bigger question might be, do I need a Pre-workout snack.
First, any type of moderately intense workout will automatically turn-off or turn-down your digestive system. This is a normal, bio-chemical procees, so if you start working out, and haven’t given your digestive system enough time to digest your meal – you could be turning off your digestive system. This will allow any and all undigested food to rot and putrefy inside your gut. Can you say, bloating, gas, leaky gut, irritable bowel or bacterial over-growth?
Many of the common digestive problems that plague our society are brought about by inhibiting the necessary production of all our Digestive Juices needed to digest a meal or snack.
So, don’t make your workout harder by leaving undigested food in your tummy. If you do, you could be setting yourself up for more digestive problems. Keep in mind, “just because you ate it, doesn’t mean you absorbed it!”
Secondly, Intensity Matters. How intense is your workout going to be? That’s important, because that determines what fuel source you are going to use? Your metabolism burns either carbohydrates, proteins or fats for energy. Those are the only 3 fuel sources available. Moderately intense exercise depends on glucose (carbohydrates) to get you through your workout.
Easy, aerobic exercise allows your body to burn fats for energy. So depending on how intense your workout is going to be, will determine if you might need to add a pre-workout snack in order to have enough glucose (carbohydrates) to help you get through your workout.
If it’s going to be an easy, aerobic workout – you probably don’t need any additional carbs. You SHOULD be able to burn fat. Don’t make the assumption that burning calories implies burning calories from FATS. Intensity matters!
Just be aware that an EASY, aerobic workout SHOULD allow you to burn fats, it’s Not a Guarantee. Too much stress and cortisol or blood sugar surges could inhibit your ability to burn fats. Therefore, if that’s the case, you may want to make sure you have carbs in your system to get you through your workout, so you don’t burn proteins (lean muscle) for energy, which is the absolute worst thing you can do. Can you say Cellulite?
The third thing to consider is Time Matters. How much time are you going to give yourself to digest your meal, before you start your workout? This is important because some foods take longer to digest than others. Carbohydrates digest much faster than proteins and fats, so depending on what you ate, and or the combination of foods you ate, will determine if you need more time to digest or not.
One of the last thing you want to feel when you are working out is an upset stomach or all this internal chaos going on in your tummy. Proteins and fats can take 2-3 hours to digest, whereas simple carbohydrates from fruits can be digested in 20-45 minutes.
Feeling like you need to vomit when you exercise, doesn’t mean it was a great workout. More than likely, it means you exercised with food in your tummy, which isn’t SMART!
So, Eat Right and make sure you give yourself enough time to digest whatever you are eating, especially if it has protein and fat in it, that way you Train Smart.