This is an excerpt from The Fighter’s Diet

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The best analogy I can come up with for pre-workout nutrition is to imagine your body is like a car. Common sense tells us that for our car to accelerate it has to have fuel.

Completely ignoring pre-workout nutrition is a little like pretending you can drive your car without gas.
Not all that smart.

So we’re going to talk about the what, when, and why of pre-workout nutrition.

Pre-Workout Nutrition

It doesn’t matter whether its your cardio session, or your strength training, or sparring, or your skills work…they are all classified as ”workouts” so you need proper pre-workout nutrition.

And really all this means is making sure you have a balanced meal or snack an hour prior to your workout.

The reason being is you want your glycogen stores full so your intensity and strength capacity can remain high throughout.

If you don’t, your workout will stall—like a car without fuel.

Anytime I have a sparring session and I’ve neglected to eat before…I fatigue quickly, and the ass-whipping begins shortly there after. Happened last Thursday in fact.

The timing is pretty important. Eat too close to your workout and the body can’t digest it fast enough (that makes for a poor workout too)—eat too soon and your body doesn’t have optimal energy.

There’s a nice window of time I like to consume my meal and that’s anywhere from an hour and fifteen minutes to forty-five minutes prior to my workout.

As for what you consume, that typically depends on what time of day it is and what you’re doing. But it should contain protein so you get your essential amino acids and a pretty good amount of complex carbohydrates.

I don’t mind the whole carb loading thing before a workout just as long as you don’t over do it and they’re consumed with protein.

Some Other Steps to Aid Workout Performance

You really don’t need much other than the meal or snack I described above, but there are a couple other things that can help.

Fruit

Eating a piece of faster digesting fruit like an orange, apple, or banana as a quick energy source 30 min prior will help kick-start your workout.

Caffeine

Whether in the form of an energy drink (buy the ones without sugar) or coffee or pill, caffeine 15 min to 45 min before your workout can give you a boost in energy and focus.

No-Explode

Is a nitric oxide and creatine mix that I’ve successfully used to prolong and intensify strength and conditioning workouts.

Take 15 to 30 min prior to workout.