The Right Muscle Building Foods for Your Pre Workout Meal

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Are you eating muscle building foods? If you’re looking to build muscle, it’s very important to get your diet in line with your build muscle and gain weight fast goal, particularly in your pre workout meal before you hit the gym.

The most important aspect of your muscle building diet plans is getting the timing of your eating right.

You have to fuel your workout, on one hand, and on the other, you want to start repairing muscle as soon as possible after your workout. Getting you muscle building foods at the right times can help you build muscle and gain weight faster than if you ignore the timing of your muscle building nutrition. When considering your muscle building plans, remember this fact: You will only be in the gym for 30 minutes to an hour but you will be eating throughout the day.

One of the key windows of time for your muscle building nutrition includes the hour and a half before you hit the gym (your pre workout meal) and the hour and a half after your have blasted your muscle (your post workout meal) . This gives us four hours (if we include the hour workout) to focus on our workout meal timing to build muscle fast.

This article is the first in a series to discuss meal timing and composition and its importance to your muscle building plans.

Muscle Building Nutrition: Pre Workout Meal

If you don't properly fuel your workouts, even your best muscle building plans will fall far short of you expectations and desires. You want to eat before your workout so that you have the energy you need to drive yourself to the maximum in the gym, get that one extra set, to push that one last rep. However, the trick is to leave enough time to digest before you start working out. Otherwise, your body is trying to digest and work out at the same time. You should leave at least an hour before your workout, but not longer than an hour and a half before to make sure that you get the nutrients you need for your workout. What are these nutrients, you ask?

Protein is obvious. Since you are trying to build muscle and gain weight fast, all of your meals should include protein. You should aim for 25 to 50 grams of protein in your pre workout muscle building nutrition, depending on your size. Remember, to build muscle fast, you should aim for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day, and you should take that goal into account when determining protein intake for your pre workout meal.

Pre workout Muscle Building Nutrition: Protein to Repair and Build Muscle

They type of protein you eat can alter the amount of time you should allow for digestion prior to working out. For example, if you use a whey protein shake as your pre workout protein source, the whey protein can start feeding the muscle in as little as 30 minutes. On the other hand, protein from eggs can take up to 2 hours to be fully ready for the body to use. When choosing solid proteins, be sure to look for lean protein sources to limit the amount of fat in your pre workout muscle building foods. There is more information on fats below.

To have energy for your weight training sessions, however, you need something more.

Pre workout Muscle Building Nutrition: Carbohydrates for Energy

As you workout, your body converts sugars (which are part of the broader class of carbohydrates) into ATP and eventually into energy for your weight training session. This leads to an important conclusion: Carbohydrates are your most important source of energy. In particular, you want this meal to have plenty (50 to 75 grams) of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates, particularly low glycemic-index (GI) carbs, digest more slowly, giving your body a continuous supply of energy. Not getting enough complex carbohydrates in your pre workout muscle building foods will cause you to run out of energy too soon, causing your weight training sessions to fall short. Good sources of low GI complex carbohydrates before your workout include vegetables, whole wheat pastas and grains such as rice.

Pre workout Muscle Building Nutrition: What About Fats? Testosterone to Build Muscle

Though you should limit fats (not more than about 15 grams) in your pre workout muscle building foods since they significantly slow digestion (an effect we do not want in our pre workout muscle building nutrition), you do need some fats in your pre workout meal, particularly essential fatty acids. This is primarily because EFA's help to elevate and maintain your testosterone levels. Testosterone, as we know, is a key muscle building hormone. You can get omega-3 EFA's from sources such as tuna and salmon (also good sources of protein) as well as seeds and nuts, and omega-6 EFA's from eggs and poultry (protein), nuts and whole grain breads (low GI complex carbohydrates). As you can see, you can get the EFA's you need from your lean protein sources.

Pre workout Muscle Building Nutrition: Conclusion

Your pre workout muscle building nutrition should prepare your body with protein to repair and build muscle and low GI complex carbohydrates to fuel your workouts. As a result the pre workout meal you choose should consist of muscle building foods that combine to give you approximately 30 to 40% of your calories from lean protein sources, 50 to 60% of your calories from low GI complex carbohydrates and 10 to 20% from essential fatty acids in your pre workout meal.

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