By Clare Keating, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist
Nutrition plays a crucial role in athletic performance, and pre-training nutrition is often overlooked or underestimated.
As an Accredited Practising Dietitian, I am passionate about helping athletes optimise their performance through evidence-based nutrition strategies. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of pre-training nutrition and provide practical guidelines to fuel your workouts effectively.
1. The Role of Pre-Training Nutrition:
Pre-training nutrition serves multiple purposes, including:
a) Providing energy: Adequate carbohydrate intake before exercise ensures optimal glycogen stores, the primary fuel source for high-intensity activities.
This helps delay fatigue and supports sustained performance.
b) Enhancing focus and alertness:
Consuming nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants can promote mental clarity and alertness, ensuring you stay focused throughout your training session.
c) Supporting muscle repair and growth: Proper nutrition before exercise can enhance muscle protein synthesis, aid in muscle recovery, and
facilitate the repair of damaged tissues.
To optimize your pre-training nutrition, focus on:
a) Carbohydrates: Include simple carbohydrates like white bread and crumpets, dried fruit, fruit juice, muesli and LCM bars, lollies and cereal.
They provide a quick release of energy that your body can use during your workout.
b) Hydration: Ensure proper hydration by consuming fluids before your training session. Water is typically sufficient for shorter workouts, while longer activities or workouts in the heat may benefit from electrolyte-rich beverages.
3. Timing and Portion Control:
The timing and portion control of your pre-training snack are crucial to avoid discomfort and maximize performance:
Aim to consume your pre-training snack 30-60 minutes before your workout.
This allows sufficient time for digestion and absorption of nutrients.
b) Portion Control:
The size of your pre-training snack should be tailored to your individual needs and gut tolerance. If you never usually eat before
you train, start with something small like ½ a banana.