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What Should I Eat Before a Workout?

Posted by Trainer Aaron on October 4, 2010

Pre-workout meals are very important. If you eat the wrong things, you’ll eliminate your drive and energy; and if you don’t eat at all, you can have a hypoglycemic reaction (low blood sugar) and run the risk of passing out in the middle of your workout.

The best thing to do is eat a decent meal (solid food, protein containing) about 2 hours before your workout. Don’t eat too much otherwise you’ll still have food in your stomach during your workout. If you eat a decent meal then you should have plenty of energy, but not be bogged down by your meal during your workout.

What if I don’t have two hours?

It’s always better to have a little something before a workout. If all else fails a piece of fruit will do just fine, up to half an hour before the workout. Preferably a piece of fruit and some almond butter an hour out.

The key to the pre-workout meal is timing and portion control. Denser foods like meat or other meal-type foods take longer to digest and should therefore not be eaten within 1.5-2 hours of a workout. Snack-type foods, like fruit and yogurt, are easier to digest and leave the stomach quickly. They can be eaten closer to a workout. Just remember that the closer you are to your workout, the smaller the portion should be to avoid that heavy feel in in your stomach.

What if I didn’t eat anything?

Keep it simple, and don’t push too hard. If it hasn’t been too long then you should be fine, but if the last time you ate was dinner last night then you should watch yourself carefully. If you decide to go ahead with your workout then you need to watch out for dizziness and lightheadedness. Sit down as soon as possible and try to get something sugary into your system: a piece of fruit (grapes are great for this situation), or some crackers. At this point your workout is over, and you should get something solid into your stomach as soon as you can, and definitely before you drive.

Ultimately, portions and timing is something you’ll have to figure out for yourself. However remember that it’s better to eat too close to a workout, and have to take it easy, than to not eat and pass out.

Notice: For the next two weeks Aaron Thornton of Synergy Personal Training will be offering free bodyfat tests. To schedule yours follow the link below.
Schedule Your Free Bodyfat Test Now

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