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What Should I Eat Before a Workout?

Nov 27, 2017

Question: "What should I eat before a workout?"

Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT

Eating before a workout is very important especially if you are training first thing in the morning. You need to make sure you fuel your body properly prior to any physical activity. Ideally you want to eat at least an hour before your training session to give your body time to process and digest.

Eating healthy carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals (with low-fat or skim milk), whole-wheat toast, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole grain pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables, are some great options for a pre exercise meal.

Adding healthy carbs and proteins before your workout will give you the essential nutrients you need in order to train properly and efficiently. A small simple snack is typically all you need so don’t think you have to eat a huge meal full of carbs and protein to satisfy your hunger before you hit the gym.

Not eating beforehand may make you feel light-headed, weak, or sluggish because your body doesn't have enough fuel to sustain you during exercise. Eating is extremely important and should be taken serious. Talk to your favorite trainer about how to plan your meals accordingly.

Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS

Fueling your body with proper nutrients before a workout will give you more energy and strength to have a great workout. Depending on the time you have, there are many meals/snacks you can eat before a workout. When you have 2-3 hours before a workout it is important to eat a complete meal In order to have the sufficient nutrients to help you in your workout. You can eat a mixture of complex carbs (whole grain toast) and protein (eggs) and fats (avocado). With 2 hours, you should have sufficient time to allow the food to digest and have the nutrients get into the right places to help your body. If you are running late or don’t have time to prep a complete meal, there are other options on what to eat. Eating oatmeal with fruit will give you energy throughout your workout or if you want something quick and on the go then a smoothie will work. Anything liquid base, you will be able to digest quicker and benefit from its nutrients. Every person is different in what they can and can’t eat, mix and match foods and see what works best for you.


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