Perfect Your Pre-Workout

Pre-workout nutrition is vital for providing the fuel your body needs to perform its best. While the ideal ratio of carbohydrate, protein, and fat depends on the type, duration, and intensity of your workout, the timing of your pre-workout nutrition is also very important.

Carbohydrates are best for Short duration and high intensity exercise.

Glucose from carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for short duration and high intensity bouts of exercise. Slower digesting carbohydrates like whole grains are best 2-3 hours pre-workout, while fast-acting carbohydrates that provide instant energy, such as white rice and fruit, are more ideal within an hour or less of your workout.

Protein before a workout has been shown to improve muscle recovery, increase growth, strength and lean body mass.

It’s important to choose lean proteins easy to digest the closer you are to your workout. For example, a chicken breast sandwich is a great option 2-3 hours prior, whereas a protein smoothie is easy to digest within an hour or less. If you’re looking to build muscle, including Complete Nutrition’s Ignite Series™ BCAA in your pre-workout provides even more fuel and energy.

Fat is the primary fuel source for Long duration and low to moderate intensity exercise.

Since most foods naturally contain fat, it’s best to focus first on a mix of carbohydrate and protein before your workout. Depending on your personal food preferences and type of workout, adding in easy-to-digest fats (i.e. nut butters and avocado) can help provide additional calories.

Which foods you select and when you consume them is a dynamic process that should be practiced before any athletic performance. Keeping a few readily available options, such as Charge On™ Protein Bars and Protein Drinks, ensures you can optimally fuel for your workout even when your schedule is tight.


Sarah Mattison Berndt, MS, RD, CD
Owner Fit Fresh Cuisine & Hybrid Athletic Club

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