I am here to answer your most burning questions on eating and working out. Ok – admittedly a bit hyperbolic but in all seriousness – 3 big questions that a lot of you who follow my Workouts & Recipes on YouTube have asked:
All good questions. In a nutshell: 1. Generally speaking yes, eat a little something before a workout. 2. Depending on the size of the meal – eat 30 minutes to 2-hours before your workout. 3. Eat a combo of carbs, protein & good fat.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Eating Before a Workout. Yes or No.
Generally speaking: Yes. That being said, it really depends on the difficulty of your workout, the time of day, and what you’re eating. For example, I work out early in the morning and sometimes I’m just not hungry. I know a lot of you are the same! On those days, I’m fine with a cup of coffee before hitting the gym and eating a “late” breakfast afterwards.
Other mornings – I’m starving, and will eat a light breakfast that incorporates a balance of carbs, protein & good fats. That magic combination will go a long way in sustaining energy through your workout and keep you from getting light-headed.
How Long Before a Workout Should I Eat?
Don’t you hate it when you ask a Yes or No question, and someone says, “It Depends”? So annoying. But ummm, the length of time between eating and working out…..uhh, it depends on the size of your meal.
If it’s a lighter meal, you can eat it up to 30-minutes before working out. For heavier meals – give yourself a couple hours to allow for digestion. There’s nothing worse than sprinting on the treadmill and getting side cramps or worse – puking up your meal. That would be embarrassing.
Regardless – you always want at least 30-minutes between eating and exercising.
The Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout
The best meal or snack to have before a work out is one that incorporates a balance of carbs, protein & healthy fats. You also want to opt for healthy, real foods vs anything processed, packaged or junky.
Try a few of my favorites….
1. Banana & Peanut-butter, unsweetened.
A super fast & easy option to get “a little something” into your stomach before hitting the gym. A banana + 1 TB of unsweetened peanut-butter is a great combo of healthy-fat for energy, and a potassium rich banana which helps to deliver nutrients and guard against fatigue.
2. Sprouted or Whole Grain Toast & Nut-butter
A piece of sprouted or whole grain toast provides carbohydrates for energy, while the nut butter delivers healthy-fats to help you feel fuller, longer and get you through a hard workout. Sometimes I’ll add ½ a sliced banana on top. I know – someone pls stop the insanity.
3. Seeded or Whole-Grain Toast, Avocado, Tomato & Egg
One of my personal favorites. Mash ½ a small avocado over a piece of sprouted or whole-grain toast, layer sliced tomato and top with a fried egg. Great combo of carbs, protein & healthy fat. This would be classified as a “heavier” meal in terms of a pre-workout meal for us ladies. Give it an hour to settle before hitting the gym.
4. Steel-cut Oatmeal, Berries & Nuts
Anther personal fave. Steel-cut Oats (not Quick-Oats, which are processed & stripped of nutrients) are high in carbs, making it a great source of energy. Add fresh berries & chopped almonds for energy-sustaining good fats and satisfying breakfast.
Hit the “Easy” button by making it the night before, throw in the fridge. In the morning, just add the nuts! Try my Blueberry Overnight Oats.
5. Get-Your-Greens Protein Smoothie
Loaded with easily digestible carbs, protein & fiber – this Get-Your-Greens Smoothie is light enough to have before a workout, yet still give you tons of positive energy. Try it! Great for energy & skin!
Ok ladies – THOSE are a few great food ideas to fuel your workouts! Now check out “12 Foods to Eat Before Cocktails!”
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