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General Guidelines for Pre-Exercise Nutrition

Low-intensity exercise doesn’t always require high carbohydrate availability, as we can tap into our fat stores to supply energy for working muscles. Therefore, a meal or snack a few hours before exercise that has higher protein and fat content can work well. This way your body will favour fat-burning, while preserving muscle glycogen for later stages of exercise.

Some examples of higher protein and fat pre-exercise foods:

1. Roam Energy Nut Butter with a piece of fruit.

2. Eggs with avocado.

3. Roam Protein shake or protein smoothie with nut butter blended in. Check out our smoothie recipes here.

During moderate-intensity exercise your body will start favouring carb-based fuels while still maintaining reasonable fat burning.

It is very individual what ratio of fat or carbs we burn in this intensity zone, something that also depends on your level of fitness, your overall diet and other factors.

The most important preparation for moderate-intensity sessions actually happens the day prior, by eating meals that supply all macronutrients and top-up energy stores for the following day’s session.

Thus immediate pre-workout choices will depend on your goals. If your focus is solely performance — a carbohydrate-rich breakfast/snack will provide immediate energy for the session. If you are after metabolic benefits— a protein/fat-rich meal or snack is also a great option.

These sessions will be demanding on your body, and you should consider consuming carbohydrate-rich meals beforehand to replenish muscle glycogen (this is how your body stores the majority of carbohydrates in your body).

Ideally, you will start thinking about “restocking” muscle glycogen at least 24 hours before the session, as it takes time to pack your muscles with energy, it is not a fast process. However, eating carbs 4-6 hours before your workout will top off muscle and liver glycogen stores. Meals (breakfast, lunch) before these workouts are important, don’t skip them!

If you are confident that your body has plenty of energy stored earlier in that case you can even enjoy a snack either rich in carbohydrates or protein/fat, usually 1-2 hours before the session.

Some examples:
Breakfast: oats with berries and Roam Protein, with Energy Nut Butter
Pre-workout: half-banana, energy bar, or Energy Nut Butter

Athlete Holding A Packet of Roam Energy Nut Butter

What if I’m ravenous half an hour before my workout, but don’t want to exercise on a full stomach?

Sometimes we just need something to ‘fill the gap’ before training. A full meal will be too heavy and could compromise your workout, and foods like bread and crackers don’t always sit well. 

In this situation, foods that are easy on the stomach and small are good:

- Half a banana

- A packet of Energy Nut Butter (ground nuts will be easier for your gut to handle than whole nuts)

- Half a Roam Protein shake.

Roam Athlete Running Up A Hill Endurance Exercise

Exercise duration and pre-exercise nutrition

Long workouts or races don’t necessarily mean that you need to increase the volume of what you eat pre-exercise. Over-eating can make you feel heavy and sluggish and can adversely affect your performance and overall experience. For sessions over 1.5 hours in length, you will likely need to consider bringing energy with you.

The Roam Range

Level up your pre-exercise nutrition routine with Roam Energy Nut Butter and get ahead of your recovery with Roam Plant-based Protein.
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