So what is the best thing to eat before your workout?
Fuel is an extremely necessary component for any workout that you do.
Exercising requires energy and the more vigorous the exercise, the more energy you need in order to properly perform.
In many cases you need energy to simply make it through the workout without passing out!
When To Eat Before Workout
I know some people who come in to workout all pumped up and ready to go hard.
About 30 minutes into the workout their face is flushed and sweat is streaming down like a river. They look like something is clearly wrong, even if they couldn’t communicate it.
In these cases I have them sit down for a moment as I grab some water and come back to ask them a simple question…when is the last time you ate?
Once they get their wits about them, they all come back with a similar answer. “The last thing I ate was breakfast/lunch” and here we are at 6pm training. Not good.
What to eat is important and I will get to that in a second, but when to eat is probably even more important.
You need to eat about an hour or so before your scheduled workout session.
There is no exact time on this, so I can’t say you should eat exactly 65 minutes before you begin exercising, because there is no exact in any of this stuff dealing with your body.
That’s why we continue to study and discover new things all the time and why some things work better for different people.
As a good general rule though, you need to fuel up about an hour before your workout.
If it has been 3 hours or more since your last meal and you plan to workout, then there may be a problem waiting for you. Eating lunch at noon will not properly support a workout after work at 6.
When To Eat Before Early Morning Workout
So what about people who like to workout first thing in the morning or only have time first thing in the morning to squeeze it in?
Well, your preference and/or busy schedule does not change how your body works unfortunately.
Your body still needs fuel in order to carry out vigorous activity and will always operate much better with fuel than without.
Somewhere along the line, someone might have even told you that working out on an empty stomach helps to burn off more unwanted calories, but that’s not exactly correct.
There is no changing the fact that your body needs fuel (food) to do vigorous activity.
No food = less intensity in your workout. Less workout intensity = less calories burned for your efforts.
So now you know when to eat before a workout.
See Also: Low Impact Vs High Impact Exercises
What To Eat Before You Workout
Many studies have shown that a properly balanced diet has a positive effect on the health and effectiveness of training.
A pre-workout meal is almost as important as a post-workout meal. Unfortunately, most people neglect the importance of both meals. We will give you some advice on what foods you need to eat before training.
For pre-workout, carbs are your best friend along with a little protein in the mix.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source, so getting a good source of complex carbohydrates in your system before you workout is key.
Wheat based breads or pasta or other high fiber foods will keep you fueled up and ready for your workout. Fruits and vegetables are great too.
Choose fruits that are easy to digest – banana, orange, apple …
As a general rule, your meals should all be fairly balanced from breakfast and beyond and your pre-workout meal is no different.
Protein bars and other meal replacement eats are ok, but an actual meal (or mini meal) will serve you much better.
Drink some coffee as well. A small dose of caffeine will increase endurance, improve training capacity, make you more alert and ease the recovery process after training.
See Also: Good Carbs Vs Bad Carbs
How Much To Eat Before Workout
Again, no precise answer can be given here. This will depend on you as an individual (your height/weight) and the time between your meal and your workout.
A small woman eating just an hour before a workout might be able to get by with apple slices with peanut butter on them when your average man will probably be able to sustain a good workout with just that in his system.
The amount of food you will have to use your best judgement and figure out as you go.
A pretty good guide to use would be to eat approximately 10% of your daily caloric need as a pre-workout meal and adjust if necessary from there.