Markets are saturated with countless foods, drinks, and substances that claim to aid you in your journey to make serious gains.
We’re bombarded by ads of chemically enhanced concoctions that promise the workout of a lifetime, so long as we don’t mind bouncing off the walls for the next few hours (or days, depending on what you take, and how much).
Naturally, they’re all meant to be taken at a certain time. Eat this now; drink this later; take this beforehand; put this up your nostril before your next set, etc.
Look, you can make it as complicated as you want. But we’re going to keep it twice as simple and twice as effective.
Just eat oats.
Before we move on, we’re going to let you in on a little secret in case you haven’t already realized it. Are you ready? Okay, here goes: Here at Oats Overnight… we love oats. Yes, yes, it’s true, we confess! We’ve been on the oats train for some time, with no intention of getting off.
We know you’re shocked, but let us explain: they’re magical.
They keep us feeling healthy and energized, especially when we’re hitting the gym. Everyone who works out regularly at the Oats Overnight office doesn’t go without a pack (or two) of oats before or after their workout.
This article will focus on the “before” category and dive into why oats make for an excellent pre-workout meal.
Food Is Fuel
If you’ve ever worked out after being on an empty stomach for a few hours, you probably noticed that you felt unreasonably hungry afterward. What exactly is going on in the body when this happens?
Let’s begin with common knowledge: our bodies are fueled by what we put into them. Think of people as cars. Your average car works fine on regular unleaded gasoline and can travel quite a long way on a full tank. But if you’re strength training 6 times a week, your body is not a car—it is a jet engine. And jet engines require jet fuel, not regular unleaded.
Of course, not everyone is going that hard at the gym. But the point still stands: if you’re exercising regularly, then you need good fuel.
Fill a jet engine with unleaded gas and it probably won’t even start; fill your body with nothing but celery, and let us know how that works for you.
To be fair, celery has its place.
But so do oats.
And one of the optimal places for oats is before your workout.
Here’s where the fitness industry creeps in with their chemically altered concoctions. These come loaded with all sorts of ingredients that can make you crash, make you jittery, or generally make you feel like you’ve just ingested battery acid. The gains might be real, but at what cost?
And is that cost worth it when natural foods like oats can lead to similar results without the unhealthy side effects?
What do oats do differently?
Oats are carbohydrates, which fuel your body and muscles in particular.
Going to the gym on a completely empty stomach might not be the best idea unless you’re doing a heavy cardio session. But if you’re keeping the cardio light and the weights heavy, you’ll want to have some fuel in your body before you go in.
Oats are going to provide you with complex carbohydrates, which differ from other energy sources like simple carbohydrates and sugars in that they burn more slowly, and provide longer-lasting energy as a result.
One of the downsides of simple carbs and sugars is that the quick burst of energy they provide comes with a cost: a heavy crash, especially after performing high-intensity exercises of any kind. Because of the molecular structure of oats, this problem is circumvented entirely.
Depending on when you eat, you may even have energy left over at the end of your workout.
When to eat the oats?
This brings us nicely into timing.
Oats make for a great pre-workout meal, but make sure you’re either giving yourself some time before hitting the gym so you have time to digest the oats.
We’d recommend eating them one or two hours beforehand or if you’re really on a time crunch, try to keep it at a snack-sized portion and avoid eating till you’re full. You don’t want to feel weighed down more than you already are when you’ve got extremely heavy weights resting on your shoulders.
Not only will your muscles have fuel for when you begin the workout, but you’ll also have carbs to give your muscles during and after your workout. If you really want to take advantage of the oats energy, make sure you have some protein mixed in. You can even take half before your workout and the other half after, which will ensure your body has the nutrients it needs to recover properly.
You need prime fuel before you go in for a workout.
If you’re looking for the perfect oats and protein combo, Oats Overnight has got you covered.
It’s healthy and delicious, and it’ll provide you with the energy you need for a killer workout without making you feel heavy, bloated, jittery, or exhausted afterward. Give it a shot and see for yourself!