A good diet is essential to sustain a training session. Choosing the right foods is important if you want to put your body in a position to work at its best, recover quickly between a series and the other and prolong the performance for the time it takes. A lunch before the gym has, therefore, the function of preparing the conditions necessary to achieve the desired performance, but also to support recovery in the post-training phase.
The diet, in fact, must be able to compensate for the energy expenditure of the training, putting together the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. To decide what to eat, it is not so much the type of discipline you practice that is important as the duration and intensity of the performance.
A perfect diet must also take into account other factors, such as the age of the athlete and his physical fitness. To study an ad hoc diet plan, therefore, the advice is to turn to a nutritionist.
There are some general rules that can be followed by everyone to organize a balanced diet. But a small premise is necessary. Let’s say right away that fasting is not a good idea, since the pre-workout meal must support the body in the exercise session. Energy, in fact, derives in particular from carbohydrates and sugars present in the blood, in case of fasting instead the body must take shelter by removing proteins from muscle tissue.
We come, then, to the preparation of the meal. In addition to considering the necessary nutrients, the diet of an athlete must take into account the time of digestion. That’s why lunch before the gym shouldn’t be too heavy but, on the contrary, highly digestible. The intake of Kcal should never be less than 250 – 300, preferring foods with a medium-low glycemic index.
Early afternoon trainers should try to eat moderately and at least three hours before starting their training session.
For a lunch before the gym, foods rich in starch, such as pasta, are recommended, preferring, however, that made with wholemeal flours or even rice, always wholemeal. Many sports doctors have declared that they include in the diet of professional athletes typical recipes of Mediterranean cuisine such as pasta dishes seasoned with sauce or vegetables, fish, white meat, legumes, potatoes, seasonal fruit.
Therefore, an example of lunch before the gym could be the following:
Side vegetables are essential for the intake of water and fiber, even if you should not exceed the amount ingested at lunch, because they also tend to slow down the digestive process. Avoid fatty foods, rich in added sugars or preservatives, alcohol, sweet or carbonated drinks. It is also good to avoid dairy products, because they can be difficult to digest.
Attention is also paid to seasonings and cooking methods. When practicing sport in the afternoon, lunch should be prepared by choosing light cooking, for example grilling meat or steaming vegetables. For the seasoning, extra virgin olive oil should be used raw, always without exaggeration. For a post-workout dinner you can, instead, dare a little more, abounding with the amount of vegetables and risking more tasty condiments.