We don’t need to tell you how important nutrition is to achieving your goals – what you choose to eat each day has as much to do with your success as the weights on your barbell.
So, when it comes to picking the best pre-workout meal, it’s no longer as simple as loading up your bowl with oats, chugging down a protein shake and calling it breakfast. In order to maximize your workout efficiency, a balanced meal containing all your macronutrients is essential.
You may have thought pancakes were reserved for gluttonous family brunches. Not anymore – they’re a popular meal in the fitness circle, and with good reason.
Still not convinced? Let’s walk through what makes the ideal pre-workout meal and why you should put pancakes on the menu.
What makes the best pre-workout meal?
Ideally, your pre-workout meal should consist of some protein, some carbohydrates, and a little healthy fat. How do you distribute them up? It depends on your goals, but here’s some general guidance:
Aim for 20g of protein for your pre-workout meal as consuming enough protein is crucial for cellular health, especially if you’re exercising a lot. By chowing down on good sources of protein, your body is provided with the amino acids it needs to prevent muscle breakdown.
Keep in mind that your body is unable to digest more than 30-50g in one sitting, so only aim to eat 1.2g-1.6g of protein per kg of bodyweight a day.
You need between 20 and 40 grams of low GI (glycaemic index) carbohydrates in your pre-workout meal. When consumed 2-3 hours before a workout, these slow releasing sources of energy enable you to work out for longer. Foods such as rice, beans and sweet potato are popular choices.
Some people opt for high GI carbohydrates when they want a quick energy boost. They’re great for people who are eating an hour or 30 minutes before a workout. However, because you’re providing your body with fast acting glucose as fuel, you should be extra careful to only depend on these carbs immediately pre or post-workout.
Don’t exceed 5-10 grams of fat as this may slow down the digestion of protein. Also, because fats are more gradually metabolized, instead of getting you pumped, they are more useful for periods of low-activity. If you do choose to fill up on fats outside the workout window, opt for healthy kinds such as avocado, nuts or oily fish.
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Why are pancakes the perfect pre-workout meal?
Be sure to choose organic or wholewheat/wholegrain ingredients over pre-made white flour-based mixes. If you use raw, wholesome ingredients, pancakes can provide your body with the right mix of healthy carbs, protein, amino acids.
Cooking pancakes in coconut oil also helps boost your metabolism thanks to Lauric acid, the medium chain fatty acid contained in the oil. Adding cinnamon and raw cacao can stabilize your blood sugar levels, curtailing any crash. This tricks your brain into preventing mid-morning cravings.
Finally, if you do decide to start cooking up some pre-workout pancakes – a word of warning: avoid eating them within 30 minutes of training. They’re quite filling and that’s not how you want to feel when you’re on your second set of jumping squats.
Pre-workout pancakes recipe
• 2 cups flour
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 cups milk
• 1 egg
What to do
Whisk ingredients in blender and voila – you have batter ready to pour into a hot pan.
Power them up
Fast-digesting carbs such as these can be eaten guilt-free before your workout as they energize your reps. Add a twist by topping your stack with Sinister Labs’ caffeinated Chocolate Craze peanut spread.
For protein, top with bacon or Sinister Labs Panic Pancakes mix that gives you 20g of protein per serve built-in. Breakfast just got a whole a lot sexier.
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