The # 1 best supplement 1 to take before training, says dietician: eat this, not that

It’s hard to hit the gym when you’re feeling lazy, especially after a long day at work. And while you should definitely allow your body to rest when it needs to, there may be days when you just need a little boost of motivation to get you to that workout class you wanted to try. In these cases, a pre-workout supplement can be helpful.

To learn more about the best supplements to take before a workout, we spoke to an expert in sports nutrition and dietetics, Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Handbook and member of our board of medical experts

According to Goodson, the best thing you can consume before a workout is actually not a supplement at all, but food! “Carbohydrates are your body’s first energy choice for fueling exercise– fuel your body for running, jumping, lifting and more, so fueling your workout with a granola bar, banana, or wholemeal bagel is a fantastic way to give your body the energy it needs to give the better.

However, if you’re specifically looking for a supplement to give you a pre-workout boost, says Goodson you may benefit from caffeine.

Research tells us that caffeine can help provide energy for exercise, so if you’re planning on choosing a supplement, a little caffeine paired with a snack could help, ”says Goodson.

caffeine supplement
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The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) has conducted a critical review of research related to caffeine and physical performance and concluded that overall, caffeine consumption may be beneficial for fitness performance.

According to ISSN, caffeine supplementation can help with endurance, muscle strength, sprints and jumps, and many other aerobic and anaerobic movements specific to certain sporting movements. They also note that the greatest benefits of caffeine can be seen in those who do aerobic endurance exercises, which include things like jogging, biking, and swimming.

While caffeine can be a useful pre-workout energy boost, it’s also important to take note of how your body feels when you consume it. The ISSN states that larger amounts of caffeine can have negative side effects, and Goodson certainly agrees.

“Caffeine affects everyone differently, and because it’s a central nervous system stimulant, it’s important to know how caffeine affects you,” says Goodson. “Plus, both caffeine and exercise cause heart rate to increase, so starting with a small amount is always ideal.”

Another solution is to always combine your caffeine with a light snack. Goodson suggests something like a cup of coffee with a protein bar because “C.taking caffeine with food will help stabilize blood sugar and energy levels and ideally help prevent caffeine from negatively impacting your energy. “

At the end of the day, Goodson is still an advocate of consuming healthy carbohydrates before exercise as a first choice, because “fueling a workout with a carbohydrate, some protein and some water “will always go a long way.

For healthier workout tips, check out the 7 Best Protein Powders for Stronger Muscles, Dietitians Say.

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