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What Should I Eat Before a Workout?

Updated: Jan 23

We have all had those exercise sessions where we feel lethargic, fatigued, and exhausted as we haven’t had anything to eat since 3:00 pm and it's now 6:30 pm. Knowing what to eat can be a tricky thing as too much food will make us feel slow, sluggish, and heavy, but too little can make us feel like the workout is too hard, even though it’s something we can usually manage.

Lucky for us, a whole macronutrient group exists to be our bodies' primary energy source, carbohydrates! Simple, easy-to-digest carbohydrates are your best friend right before a workout.

Sample Carbohydrate foods to before a workout

“But carbs make us gain weight and gain fat right?”

My dear reader, they do not! We need to be eating a surplus of energy over an extended period of time to gain weight and body fat. Eating carbohydrates before a workout is not a reason for this, being able to push more in a workout is going to make us stronger, fitter, and push us into becoming the best version of ourselves.

“I just want to lose weight, I don’t care about how hard I work in my workout’

While our workout is only about 4% of our day, the intensity that we can train at will push our body to change. Being able to go a bit further in a workout every time is like compound interest that keeps returning, you don’t see much change at first but over time, those small improvements add up into a better version of yourself.

“Okay I’m starting to become convinced, what should I have?"

It depends on what you can tolerate and digest. Everyone's body is different, I would suggest experimenting and seeing what sits well in your body. It also depends on what time you are eating, I would suggest anywhere from 1-3 hours prior to a workout is a good timeframe to eat something if you can.

Pre-Workout Snack

If you are eating 2-3 hours before your workout, you can try: - Bagel with Honey and Banana + Protein Shake

- Crumpets with Jam + Smoothie - Yoghurt with Fresh Fruit

If you are eating 1 hour before your workout, you can try: - Banana

- LCM bar

- Rice Cakes with Jam or Nut Butter.

Even if you can add some rice to your lunch and then have a banana 1-2 hours before your training, this will be enough to keep you going.

“I train early in the morning, what should I do?’ Make sure you have some carbohydrates in your last meal, this will be stored in your body overnight and then be released in the morning as energy. Something like rice, pasta, wraps, beans, and potatoes can be useful to have, think of all the delicious meals you can make! If you can tolerate it, have some fruit or a snack before your training session. If you have time for a coffee (or like me, you make time!) This will help your motivation and you will enjoy your workout that bit more!

Good Carbs

Carbohydrates are your friend and not something to shy away from. Let's focus on adding some to our diet, particularly before our workout, and see how it can positively impact your performance.

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