You are in for a good one today …. because I’m going to answer one of my MOST ASKED QUESTIONS!
“What should I eat before my workout to get the best results?”
You work hard - and fueling your body the RIGHT way will make sure you maximize all of that work to get the best possible results.
I’m going to break it down into three easy steps:
That means eating between 2 to 3 hours before your workout.
But that being said … if you get up early in the morning to workout, you probably don’t have that long of a window.
If at all possible, eat a small snack 45-60 minutes before your workout.
TIP 1: The shorter the window of time before your workout, the smaller your meal should be to avoid upsetting your stomach.
TIP 2: Liquid foods (like a shake or smoothie) also have a faster transit time through your stomach, so they can be a good choice. (this is what I prefer to do)
Bonus FAQ: What about fasted workouts first thing in the morning?
It is true, some studies show you can burn more fat if you work out on an empty stomach, but studies into whether that translates into actual weight loss show mixed results.
If your goal is to 1) add muscle or 2) train for peak performance ... eating ahead of time can help you get the most out of your workout. Also, one thing that I have gone over with some of you, FASTED does not necessarily mean you do not consume any nutrients before your session, but is more so referring to WHAT and HOW MUCH you consume. Most importantly, let’s not forget about what you need the night before your “FASTED” session.
When you do shorter or more intense workouts, the glycogen stored in your body is usually enough to fuel your workouts.
But if you’re doing long or low-moderate intensity workouts, your stored glycogen can run out. (something we always look at when considering to add supplements or opt for whole food sources)
Protein – Studies show that eating protein before a workout can boost your:
Fat – There aren’t a lot of studies on the immediate impact of eating fat before your workout. That being said, fat is your body’s preferred source of fuel for long and/or low to moderate-intensity exercise.
One downside of eating fat right before you exercise is that it can give you a stomach ache since it takes longer to digest.
Here are some pre-workout meal/snack ideas for you:
This will depend on:
And if you DO have health issues, you definitely want to check with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian for their input and advice!
I hope this helps!
Coach Tom CFL-3, USAW-2, Sports Nutritionist