Member Comments for the Article:

What to Eat Before You Work Out

Eating Before Exercise for Maximum Results

109 Comments



  • RN_MICHELLE
    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. - 5/10/2011 1:46:28 PM
  • 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. - 3/1/2011 2:48:33 PM
  • MEETNEWME
    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 - 10/25/2010 6:47:53 AM
  • i have nothing but i will try a shake today befor my workout and see - 10/11/2010 9:41:37 AM
  • Eating a banana or porridge half an hour before strength training works best. I usually eat omlette of egg whites with veggies and wheat bread after workout. I usually feel hungry after about half an hour after the workout. Eating immediately gives me a headache. Its a nice list , have more ideas for breakfast now. - 9/28/2010 12:52:16 PM
  • Whether I eat or not depends onwhen I work out. If I do at the crack of dawn, I can't. If I do later, then I do the smaller "snack" like those mentioned and wait about an hour and I'm fine. I also find that depending on what activity I do, will also determine how tolerant I am of a post exercise snack. - 8/6/2010 8:30:11 AM
  • Thank GOD for this article cause I never eat in the morning. It takes me a long time to get warmed up and started on a empty stomach for now on I am going to eat something. - 6/11/2010 12:05:38 AM
  • I have tried oatmeal in the morning before a workout (7 miles on a bike). I feel queasy.
    I have tried a shake (protein). Still queasy.
    Lots of water with a little juice... not to bad... But ravenous afterword....
    Help... Hypoglycemic issues. I don't want to pass out! - 6/3/2010 10:38:47 PM
  • I always have breakfast first thing in the mornings. As a way to warm my body up, I have been doing yoga poses which gets my mind cleared too, so I don't go for that 2nd cup of coffee. I find I have more energy when I start my cardio & strength workout if I've eaten something 1/2 hour to 1 hour before the major workout. Bananas or fruits are great snacks.

    I am also finding after a workout I am ravenous, so I will be looking for an article to clue me in to what to consume. I have been trying to 24 almond halves to munch while I drink up on the water and its seems to help. I do try after a hard workout to eat within the 1/2 hour to 2 hour range.

    I think I will print this article out to refer back to when I seem to be stalling out in the progress to see if that might be the issue. - 4/9/2010 1:50:01 PM
  • FITMOM9603
    Im experimenting with snacks...since I am starting to up my runs,I think it may be beneficial for me to have something an hour or so before working out.Will see how it works out. - 2/27/2010 8:48:06 AM
  • Looking at all the other comments below:

    A single banana might give you the boost you want without the risk of nausea or stomach upset.

    Also, especially for running, try pre-hydrating hours before but not doing any major volume drinking in the half-hour right before your run. The liquid "sloshing around" in your stomach can create its own problems, including sideaches. - 2/8/2010 10:18:28 PM
  • I'm not sure this is the right recipe for hypoglycemics, though. My pre-exercise snack is usually 100-150 calories with a mix of protein and carbs, or sometimes I just eat half of my lunch before and the rest afterward.

    It might not give optimum performance (my exercise goes well beyond moderate), but it may help lighten the chance of a blood sugar crash afterward. - 2/8/2010 10:14:51 PM
  • I made the mistake of eating before working out yesterday. I only had some cereal with skim milk and felt like I was queasy the entire time. Not a good sich! - 1/27/2010 1:10:58 PM
  • Hi Coach Dean! I was just reading your article about what to eat before a workout and have a question: In the first section, you mention that most of the fuel you use during exercise doesn’t come from the food you’ve recently eaten. But then on the next page, you say I can eat a small (100- to 200-calorie) snack about 30 minutes before I work out. You go on to say that this snack should include fast-digesting (high glycemic index) carbohydrates and very little fat (which digests slowly), so that you digest the meal quickly and the fuel is available during your exercise session. It's this last part (when you say the fuel in this snack is available during my exercise session) that is confusing me. If I do eat the small snack before I work out, do I then have to workout longer to burn the same amount of stored fat than I would on an empty stomach? I have heard from many sources to not eat before a workout to maximize weight loss, but then I have another source that says to eat something...I guess I could go either way, I just don't know which is best for weight loss...??? Thanks in advance for your help!

    Misty
    - 1/11/2010 11:04:49 AM
  • BLUESKIES145
    For me, it is difficult to eat before working out in the morning, but wonderful to have that meal afterwards. As I am being more in tune with my nutrition intake, I find the choices from the night before to be important to my morning weightlifting and spinning classes. Spark People is a wonderful site with so much to learn! - 12/19/2009 6:04:29 PM

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