The two most important things you can do before starting a workout

There is so much propaganda out there telling us about training, supplementation and the best practices, in terms of what we should do before a workout. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. We are all different, and what may work for one individual may not work for another. The following is the latest research about two of the most important things you can do before a workout:

Hydrate: With just 1 percent loss of body fluids your workout performance can be reduced. By going into a workout dehydrated, it will decrease your time to exhaustion and will inhibit your performance. 

Fuel: Should you do aerobic activity on an empty stomach or after fueling? That is a long-established debate. Doing cardio on an empty stomach can help tap into fat stores (because glycogen stores are low or depleted), this doesn’t necessarily translate in to the best or most intense workout. The body’s main source of energy is carbohydrate, which it can use during high-intensity exercise because it requires less oxygen to metabolize. Training at a greater intensity helps increase post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which makes it possible to continue to burn fat beyond a workout. Conversely, when you exercise at lower intensities (using fat as a fuel source), your body will not be able to burn energy at the same rate as it did when exercising using carbohydrates as the primary fuel source.

A carbohydrate (like a whole grain food) with a fruit and protein are the best choices to go into a workout feeling fueled. Just don’t eat too much to become overly full. A slice of whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a half of a banana is an example of a perfect choice.

Young woman drinking out of water bottle