Pre-Workout Nutrition

Ready to achieve your best results when training? It starts by making sure what you're eating and drinking is giving you the boost you need to truly fuel your workout.

When you are under-fueled, you won't get the best results from your workout — and you put yourself at a higher risk for injury or illness. Here's how to make sure you're fueling up for top workout performance:

Fueling

Keep track of the carbohydrates and fat. They are your primary muscle fuels when training and competing. You want to start exercise with your carbohydrate fuel stores fully loaded — and you may need to refuel with carbs during longer practices and competitions.

Before Practice

  • Plan to eat foods low in fat and moderate in protein and fiber 2-4 hours before practice.
  • Eat a bigger breakfast — double up on wheat toast, oatmeal or yogurt to take a little pressure off lunch.
  • Bring snacks in your backpack: pretzels, trail mix with dried fruit and no nuts (to reduce fat content), dry cereal, oranges/tangerines/bananas/fruit cup, granola bars, baked chips and water; or grab a high-fluid snack on your way: nonfat yogurt or chocolate milk, or low-fat sport shake.
  • Fuel with 30-60 grams of carbohydrates, low in fat and fiber, within an hour before practice.

During Practice

  • Remember you can consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during exercise as well.
  • Sip on two to four 8-oz. cups of a sports drink for real-time fuel, as well as fluids and electrolytes (it may seem like a lot, but you will rapidly use that carbohydrate to fuel your training session).
  • Consume any solid foods in small, frequent bites and with water or a sports drink to avoid stomach upset.
  • Choose high-carbohydrate foods that contain a mixture of types of carbohydrate (starch, fructose, glucose, maltodextrin).