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What to Eat Before You Work Out

Eating Before Exercise for Maximum Results


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  • This article states two conflicting "facts". 1) you don't actually use the food you just ate during your workout, you use what is stored. and 2) make sure you get a snack with quick digesting carbs before you workout so your body has fuel readily available.

    This is kind of important body science....So, which is it?
  • I almost skipped this article because I assumed it was geared more for "heavy duty" exercising/healthy/fit people. This has helped me understand why I have such a hard time getting started. The first 15-20 minutes is so hard. I get dizzy, more tired, I feel so heavy and worry I am having heart problems because it scares me. I was recently diagnosed with asthma and thought it was related to that somehow. I had hoped my medicine would be the cure. I now believe that it is the low blood sugar problem you addressed in your article. I will follow your recommendations! I thank you so very much! I am actually, for the first time, looking forward to working out tomorrow! God bless you! SS
    For me, eating protein and sugar prior to and after a workout seems to curb cravings and help me not to overindulge in other high calorie snacks throughout the day. Example: I'll grab an apple and scramble an egg to put on toast, and have those with a glass of water before heading to the gym (about 30-40 minutes prior to actual hard work). Afterward, I'll eat half a grapefruit and enjoy a grilled chicken breast salad from Subway with lots of fresh veggies and little bit of oil and vinegar as dressing (dinner!). :) I've found that working a workout in before one of my main meals is very helpful.
  • I found the article a little confusing. At one point the author said to stay away from whole grains because they digest slowly and then later on it is suggest to eat them. Which is the right way? And aren't we supposed to only eat whole grains (I took what was said about pretzels/bagels to mean not whole grain).
  • JAN6325
    I always drink a (8.25 oz) light "Muscle Milk" before my workout and one after my workout. Usually in the car on my way to the gym and then one on my way home. It is just what I need to get me through.
  • That's not a picture of pie! It looks like a pineapple ring with cottage cheese on top. I bet it would taste satisfying like pie, though! :)
  • Very good and helpful information, now I will be more likely to eat before going on that high power am walk.
    T was kind of hoping you were going to tell me I had to eat that pie!
    I ike a cereal bar before working out, but I will try a banana today instead
    My best weightlifting performance in terms of intensity or maximum weight lifts ( Olympic , Power , plain maximum strength ) definitely and verifiably is and has been if I eat and drink absolutely nothing at all before . I can even state that the less I eat , the better I perform , although I think it is related to having had a good meal the day before , which supports your wise advice . I greatly appreciate Dean Anderson's honesty and great analysis that is true . Thanks very much .
  • This is an amazing article! I love it, and the "after-workout" article, because I'm always starving after I work out and if I'm hungry before hand, I can barely make it through 5 or 10 minutes before crashing. Of course, I don't want to eat anything that will ruin all my hard work or make exercise difficult for me.

    Now, if I'm hungry before a workout, I drink a can of Slim-Rite Ultimate, Chocolate Royal flavor (the Kroger version of Slimfast, tastes like the best chocolate milk but only has 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 24 carbs, 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein). I'm comfortable enough to start my work out about 15 minutes later, without feeling either bloated or starved. I definitely recommend it for people who need a little something before their workout!
  • I almost always eat a pre work out snack, usually fruit or toast even within the hour of having my breakfast. Unless its gona be a short workout like 30-45min then I dont need the extra fuel. I actualy added pre workout and post workout meal category to my nutrition tracker.
    I need to eat before I workout, but I have to wait about an hour after eating before I can work out. I found that one thing that I can tolerate within 20 minutes or so is Mix 1, a natural protein shake. Any other suggestions would be welcome.
  • I find that for morning workouts (which is the only time I seem capable of actually doing the exercise; otherwise I get caught up in my day and never do it) having fruit before hand works fine for me. I can't just get up and start going, because I get so hungry so quickly when I do that. If I have a heavier fruit like banana I need to wait at least half an hour or so, or I also get queasy just as if I hadn't eaten anything. Something lighter and juicier, like grapes, an apple, or a pear I can finish the fruit, put on my exercise clothes, and be good to go. I'm working on maintenance, so I strive for at least 20 minutes of cardio +strength training. I'm often hungry after the cardio; if its not a strength training day, that's fine. Otherwise, some more fruit works fine between the cardio and strength training to quiet my stomach. Fruit is good because its almost all carb and no fat, and is very easy for the body to digest (heavier/less juicy fruits like bananas are harder, but still easier than other things); so my body doesn't have to spend a lot of energy on digesting the fruit, and can still use the energy it needs to for the exercise.
    In the morning, when i do yoga i dont eat anything as yoga is normally done empty stomach. As for evening walks (whenever i do) i dont eat anything

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