What to Eat Before Working Out
We all know what it’s like to count calories and impatiently wait for your cheat day. As important as it is to maintain healthy eating habits throughout your week, it is especially important to eat correctly before each work out.
The timing, amount, and content of each pre-exercise meal can play an important part in workout energy levels. Your post-exercise meal is just as important, as it determines how well your body recovers and rebuilds.
The most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated before your workout. Try to drink 16-20 ounces of water during the 1-2 hours before starting your workout.
Most of the fuel your body uses during a workout doesn’t actually come from food you’ve eaten recently. If you already have an adequate, healthy diet, you may not need to eat anything before you work out. It is important to listen to your body. If you feel tired, dizzy, faint, or if you feel your blood sugar is already low, you may want to eat before your workout. You have two options, a snack or a full meal.
Snack (30 Minutes before work out)
This snack should include carbohydrates and very little fat, so that you digest the meal quickly and the fuel is available during your session. Some examples are:
High-Glycemic fruits like pineapple, apricot, banana, mango, etc.
Energy bars (at least 3-5 g of protein and 15g of carbs.)
Eat a meal 1-2 Hours before you exercise.
This is the best option for many people. The larger the meal, and the more fat/protein it contains, the longer you will have to wait before your workout. Try to only consume half the calories you expect to burn during your session. At least half of these calories should come from carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar stable. Examples of good combinations for your meal:
Oatmeal or cereals
Trail mix with nuts and fruit
Hard boiled eggs
Hummus and raw veggies
Yogurt smoothie (option to add protein powder).
These are only examples of the many choices. You can tailor fit each snack or meal to your specific workout needs. The important thing to remember is to listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs.