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What to Eat Before You Work Out

Eating Before Exercise for Maximum Results


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  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!

    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!
  • I usually fill up with water shortly after waking up and then hit the elliptical for aerobic exercise and get a good workout. I eat within a half hour afterwards. I do my strength training in the evenings.
  • I usually have some kefir (drinkable yogurt) just before I go exercise, and then often a luna bar while I am on the elliptical trainer if I need it (I can get low blood sugar and boink otherwise). But I'm not sure if it's the right thing.
  • I don't usually eat before a workout. I find that it makes me nauseous especially when I am doing a yoga class.
  • PHYLLIS160
    I have a protein drink before my morning work out..

    Phyllis 160
  • I eat lunch at 1 and usually go running at 6:30 or 7 so I definitely need a snack beforehand. A banana is usually perfect. I usually don't need a snack before strength training because for some reason I don't get that "my limbs are too heavy" running out of energy feeling when I do strength.

    I really have a hard time with morning exercise. This morning I whipped up the perfect pre-running breakfast a banana with 2 tbsp peanut butter and 20g spelt museli, and ran an hour later. I still experienced the same lethargic lack of energy as I always do when I try to run in the morning, only less severely than in the past. I think my body just really doesn't like morning exercise; my evening runs usually have me bursting with energy. This wouldn't be a problem except that most running events are in the morning.
  • JANADA31
    The last time I tried to run like a half hour after I ate I threw up all over the sidewalk..... but it didn't used to be like that when I was in high school a couple years ago.... I think its cause my digestion is catching up to me:)
  • I eat my breakfast in the morning after I some of my sparkpage while I allow my stomach to settle. About an hour later I am doing my cardio.

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