Do's and Don'ts of Eating Before Your Workouts

food workout

“What should I eat before my workouts?”
The answer: “Well, it depends…”

Good Morning KJO Family! Coach Brooke here! I would say the number one question I get asked as a Registered Dietitian is about pre-workout nutrition and how to properly fuel for workouts. And my answer is always different depending on the client!

So WHY does it depend?

Well.. the reality is this:
· It depends on your goals
· It depends on your timing
· It depends on your training style
· It depends on your digestion

For individuals who are working out for fun ;) or to get/stay in shape, a standard meal will do just fine! Consuming a balanced meal a few hours prior to training should cover your workout from start to finish without any lack of energy.

Pre-workout meals become more important for individuals looking to improve their performance or beat their personal best and those that are training HARD.

If you find yourself with a lack of energy or progress in the gym, it may be time to take a more scientific approach to your pre and post-workout nutrition!

The low down on pre-workout fuel:
- CARBS: Make sure you are consuming carbs prior to your exercise- this is your main energy source, especially for those working towards higher intensity or endurance goals. Easy to digest carbs are best for pre-workout meals!
- PROTEIN: Consuming protein throughout the day helps your body to heal the small tears created when working out, and ultimately functions as the building blocks of new muscle!
- Fat: This macronutrient is slower to digest and consuming large amounts prior to workouts can have you feeling bogged down. Try to avoid large amounts of fat prior to your workout.

These recommendations are for meals consumed within 90 minutes of a workout for optimal performance.

Fiber and complex carbohydrates as well as high fat foods should be left until after your workout to allow for proper digestion time.