Recipes and diet for training: what to eat before a workout?

Training and nutrition: some small golden rules to keep in mind. First of all, remember that there is no
single pre-workout nutritional model for any kind of physical activity and person. For example, it is easy to
guess that Phil Heath, a well-known American bodybuilder, will have to follow a food plan different from
that of a marathon runner.
The diet must be functional to the type of workout, to allow you to reach the expected performance levels,
and is influenced by factors such as age, sex, frequency, training duration, digestion times, metabolism and
so on.
There are however, common rules to keep in mind in any case before training: take low glycemic
carbohydrates, choose foods with low fat content and a good amount of fibre.
In this case, carbohydrates are very important because they provide the energy that is released during
physical activity, but attention must be paid to the glycemic index associated with the food consumed. If it
is low, it will result in a gradual release of glucose (which translates into energy) in the blood, ensuring the
right energy reserve and maintaining high endurance throughout your workout; otherwise, if too high, it
will lead to a rapid peak of glucose and will not allow you to maintain the energy levels needed throughout
your workout. Finally, remember to choose foods that provide a good supply of fibre, as they will slow
down the absorption of sugars contained in the food you eat.
Keeping these tips in mind, and carefully choosing the foods to consume on every occasion, it is really easy
to customise your diet to prepare for training.
Salted rice, with vegetables, squid and shrimp: wild rice has a good supply of energy, mainly from
carbohydrates and proteins, while shrimps and squid provide the right amount of good fats.
The vegetables from carrots and cabbage will complete your meal thanks to the correct amount of fibre.

The Pre-Workout Recipe

calamaretti per un piatto di riso

2 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Basmati Rice
Wild rice

Soya Sauce


Boil two servings of rice separately, respecting the cooking time;

Boil the broccoli for 3 minutes;

Prepare the vegetable base: fry the onion and ginger together, add the grated carrots with a wide-holed grater, the cabbage sliced finely and the pepper cut into thin strips, then add the cooked broccoli;

In a non-stick frying pan, heat shrimp and squid, then add them to the vegetables;

Mix also the previously cooked rice, then blend with soy sauce;

Serve the portions of rice in a doughnut shape (can use a small bowl) and keep some vegetables kept aside,
a whole shrimp and a few tufts of squid.

The expert's advice
The dish in question is not to be understood as a pre-workout snack but just as a dish to eat as the main
meal before training. It forms part of the main meal because alone it would not be enough to provide
energy (in the long run if it were not integrated) for intense workouts.
It is important that the main pre-workout meal allows you to provide the right amount of energy without weighing down. In the case of particularly intense or long lasting workouts, you can also take specific preparations close to the workout itself.
Each of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) has its own specific role and their relationship depends on the type of workout.

Carbohydrate reserves in the liver (in the form of glycogen) or directly in the muscles that are used for
short-term, high intensity workouts. For long workouts instead, the use of carbohydrates depends on
various factors such as intensity, type of training and also the type of diet followed. It should be understood
that stocks of glycogen are limited and when they decrease considerably the intensity of training should be
reduced because other substrates are used.

A method used by athletes to maximize stocks of glycogen is to make a diet particularly rich in
carbohydrates the week before long lasting performance is required.

ricetta pre allenamento

While not the main fuel used by the muscles, pre-workout protein intake contributes to increased muscle
performance as well as recovery and muscle protein synthesis.


If glycogen is used significantly in short and high intensity activities, fat is the source of energy for medium-
low intensity and long-lasting activities. The intake of fats before training does not seem to have a direct
effect on the training itself, but it is the balanced intake over time through a correct diet that has an effect
on performance.

In summary, carbohydrates maximize glycogen reserves for high intensity and short duration exercises,
while fats are used for long workouts at medium low intensity. Proteins are the basic building blocks for
building muscle tissue (protein synthesis) and play a key role in post-workout recovery.

How long before the workout is it necessary to eat?

Meal timing is of paramount importance.
To maximize your workout results, you need a full meal containing carbohydrates, protein and fat, about 2-3 hours before.

When it is not possible to have a full meal 2 or 3 hours beforehand, it is necessary to have a pre-workout
snack, generally rich in carbohydrates and less protein.
As a general rule it is good to remember that the closer the snack is to training, the more it must be reduced in quantity and easier to digest. So if you eat 45-60 minutes before training, it will be useful to choose foods that are easy to digest and that contain mainly carbohydrates and a little protein.

Hydration is essential

The body needs water to function optimally. Correct hydration supports performance, while insufficient hydration negatively affects it.
Before training, it is recommended to take both water and salt. The American College of Sports Medicine
(ACSM) recommends drinking more than half a litre of water in the four hours prior to training and just
under half a litre 10-15 minutes before starting training.
zucchine riso saltato
To maximize performance and recovery, it is essential to provide the body with the right amount of
nutrients before training. Carbohydrates allow the use of glycogen for short-term, high-intensity activity
while fats are used during longer activity and reduced intensity.
Protein intake allows protein synthesis at muscle level, preventing muscle damage and promoting recovery.
Don't forget the role of optimal hydration.
The pre-workout meal can be taken from 2-3 hours to 30 hours before the session. It is always preferable
to choose foods that are easy to digest, especially when you're nearing the start of training.

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