What to Eat Before Your Workout

health & nutrition

What and when you eat before a workout can make or break how that training session goes. 

Eat too early and you might feel weak. Eat too late and might feel nauseous. Eat too few carbs and you might have low energy. Eat too much fat and you might feel sluggish. 

So, what’s the best approach?

While the answer varies from person to person-some people can chug a protein shake on the way to the gym and be good to go while others will get extremely nauseous drinking a shake before a workout as opposed to after-there are some tried and true rules we can abide by. 

Below are some guidelines. Try them out and find what works for you. It may take some time and experimentation, but when you find the right method it'll be obvious by the on fire feeling you get during your workout.


1. Eat 1-2 hours before your workout 

You want to give your body plenty of time to digest so it has fuel for your workout and isn't worried about processing food at the same time that it's working to lift heavy things up and down. 

Eat too far in advance, however, and you might start to feel weak halfway through your workout. 

An hour to two ahead of time is a solid guideline to stick to.


2. Light on fat, moderate on protein, higher in healthy carbs 

Carbs give us slow-burning energy, so get them in before your workout. Too much fat or protein can leave you feeling sluggish or even nauseous.


3. Stay hydrated throughout the day, especially leading up to (and during/after) your workout

Water is super important when it comes to recovery and energy. Hydration can be the difference between a killer workout and dizziness.

Below are some pre-workout suggestions for go-to's and what to avoid. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but ideas to get you going:

Go-to pre-workout:

  • Oatmeal with banana

  • Potatoes

  • Pasta

Not recommended:

  • Dairy-based smoothie

  • Salad

  • Steak

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