As the New Year approaches, and some people embark on the journey to kick start their fitness goals (which kudos to you!) I figured this was a good time to talk about eating before working out.
If you're new to the gym, I am sure there are a lot of questions you have or heck this might even be helpful to you even if you have been going to the gym for a decent amount of time. When it comes to working out, your body needs energy. Most of the energy utilize during workouts is from the glucose our bodies get from glycogen from the carbs we eat. Therefore typically your workout duration is going to be limited to the amount of glucose your body has at that moment.
Now I know there are people who are just not really hungry right before the gym, or who workout super early (5 am) when the idea of food does not sound too thrilling. If that is the case for you, I would suggest something small / quick digesting (Banana, or a piece of toast). Just something light, that will get into your system.
If you plan to workout later, I would suggest that you aim to eat a "pre workout meal" anywhere from 30 min-2 hours before your lifting session. (depending on your stomach, needs, and availability to consume food). For me as of lately, my sweet spot is about a hour before a workout. I also bring something quick carb wise (nutrigrain bar, fruit, etc). to have in the middle to make sure I keep my body feeling like I want it.
My go to at this moment is: 2 slices Udi's cinnamon raisin toast 1 oz avocado 2 egg whites
As you can see there is mostly carbs (slow digesting), a bit of protein, and a bit of fat. The goal is to have something balanced, but carb focused before. It is after my workout that I opt to have more protein, while also getting in a good amount of carbs too.
Typically after, I do 30g quick oats 3 oz banana 1 scoop whey protein
The benefits to a meal before you workout are, to help you not feel light headed or sluggish, heck even sometimes nausous. I would also recommend to stay away from pure dairy right before (yogurt, milk) depending on your body since that does take longer to digest.
If you haven't been eating something before your workout, give it a try! See how you feel during your workout, (more energy...?!!?). Bottom line, if you're going to bust your butt this year in the gym make sure you're fueling your body right to see that hard work pay off.
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