What you eat before a workout is what fuels your body! The food you consume before, during, and after exercise can have a huge effect on how you feel and also whether you meet your workout goals.
Read on to find out the pros and cons of eating before exercise, what to eat before gym, and how this can affect your training.
Exercising on an empty stomach
Exercising on an empty stomach increases your body’s ability to use fat for fuel as your body's primary sources of fuel are fats and carbohydrates.
Recent studies have shown that blood sugar is higher before and during exercise when you eat before working out, which is why some people do decide to exercise on an empty stomach.
When exercising on an empty stomach, more of your body’s energy needs are met by the breakdown of body fat. This is reinforced by studies that indicate that fat burning is higher during fasted exercise. It is important to always do what feels right for you and your body.
Exercising on a full stomach
If you’re exercising first thing in the morning, it’s not completely necessary to eat. However, it is important to remember that you should definitely eat if you feel light headed or dizzy.
If you’re exercising later in the day or for longer than an hour, we’d suggest eating something to help your body refuel and prepare yourself mentally and physically!
If you do decide to eat before working out, or after, choose an easily digestible meal containing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Eating before long-duration exercise may improve performance.
What to eat before gym
Be sure to give yourself approximately a 3 hour gap after eating a main meal before exercising. Waiting at least an hour before exercising after having a light snack, that contains some protein and is higher in carbohydrates and lower in fats, can help you perform better during your training and recovery afterwards.
Some ideal foods to eat before working out or after include:
- Fruits, such as banana
- Cottage cheese
- Glass of milk
It’s always beneficial to prepare properly before and after a workout, which is why muscle recovery is also super important in the workout process. The whole purpose of recovery in exercise is to allow your muscles to repair themselves and to engage muscles that are sore from your workout.
It’s important to look after your body and prepare properly before any exercise. As well as eating right, make sure to warm up and cool down before and after exercise. Try incorporating tools such as a vibrating foam roller or massage gun into your routine. The combination of eating the right foods and using muscle recovery tools will keep your body and muscles healthy and in their best working order.