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Sports Nutrition: What to Eat Before a Workout

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              Sorry: your workout is not an excuse to eat candy A lot of us committed to an active lifestyle because we’re tired us hearing what to eat and what not to eat - let’s face it: the more committed you are to staying physically fit, the less you have to worry about the scale.

 However, if you start setting goals and competing, sports nutrition becomes important - how to eat to get the most bang for my workout buck? I researched this extensively for my own running, and here’s what I’ve found:

When and how much: we should eat a pre-workout snack/meal at least 45 minutes before our workout begins, primarily to allow your food to begin exiting the stomach. A feeling of fullness is not beneficial to your workout. Eat to eliminate the feeling of hunger, but not to feel stuffed. You will encounter people who eat a full meal one hour before a workout and feel just fine, but they seem to be the exception. Most people need to allow a full-size meal 2-3 hours to digest in order to feel optimally well during a workout.

The amount you should eat before a workout is a more complex issue - it depends on what type of workout you’ll be doing. Most people work out for one hour at a time, so 300 calories is typically adequate. Try 300 calories before your workout, and pay attention to how you feel. If you feel a sinking or “crashing” feeling before you’re finished working out, add another 50-100 calories before your next workout. What: Your pre-workout food should be comprised of mostly low-glycemic-index carbs, or carbs that are more complex than white sugar (despite what the candy bar makers tell you, candy cause erratic fluctuations in blood sugar that negatively affect the quality of your workout). Good examples of complex carbs are whole grains and vegetables. The remainder of your food should be protein, such as eggs and lean meats and cheeses.

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