Eating and working out are two things that go hand in hand. If you want to lose weight, it is important to eat right and do the right exercises. And if you’re looking to build muscle, the key is to eat a lot of protein and do strength training.
You may find yourself wondering about what to eat before a workout or if it’s even right at all to eat before exercising.
Some people may prefer to have a smoothie or a protein shake before their workout, and others might eat something full of carbs to keep their energy up. What you eat before a workout session is different for everyone.
This article talks about foods you can eat to make the most out of your workout session and whether you should eat at all before exercising.
Should I Eat Before I Exercise?
The majority of the time, it is best to have eaten a few hours before you exercise. This is because your body will convert food to energy. Studies suggest that being well-fueled before a workout session can boost your performance.
Eating a few hours before you workout may also allow you to keep going for a longer time without feeling burnt out. You might end up feeling lightheaded and exhausted if you do not eat before an intense workout session.
Some people prefer not to eat before working out as it might make them feel queasy. While this can happen for multiple reasons, one of them being that they work out right after eating. You should wait a couple of hours after you eat before exercising.
Another reason you might be feeling sick after working out is that you are eating heavy meals. A light snack or smoothie is a great way to get energy for your workout session. Keeping yourself hydrated is also important as you lose a lot of sweat while working out.
Foods to avoid before working out include dairy, heavily processed foods, high fiber foods, and high-fat foods. As we said before, heavy meals do make you sick, but why exactly?
This is mostly due to how your body processes these foods. Your body needs more time to break down fats and sugars, and eating too much of this right before your workout can cause issues.
While the body needs fats for energy, a heavy intake of fats will cause your body to become tired since it is working so much harder to turn all of that fat into energy. Eating too much dairy can lead to intestinal cramping, and if you are lactose intolerant, it just makes everything worse.
So What Exactly Should I Eat Before Exercising?
Before you go off to the gym, you should focus on taking in two particular nutrients, Carbohydrates and Proteins. You may see a lot of people taking protein shakes just before a workout. This is because exercising takes a toll on your body and muscles.
Working out without the proper protein intake can lead to muscle loss, but not in any life-threatening way. Ensure that you have proper protein intake before working out to prepare your body to rebuild the proteins lost. Another nutrient that you will need to take in is carbohydrates.
Carbs provide fuel for your body so that you can feel energized and take on any exercise. But be careful; protein bars may seem like the one option that gives you the best of both worlds; this is not always the case. Make sure you look into the nutritional content not to consume any unnecessary fats and sugars.
These products are not always meant to be deceptive but rather add flavors to be more palatable. Here are a few examples of what you should eat before working out that provide the proper nutrition.
- Bananas, which also contain potassium that helps prevent cramps
- Peanut butter with crackers
- Nuts and raisins
- Hard-Boiled eggs
- Protein shakes with limited fats and sugars
If there is one thing that you should remember before working out, you should always eat beforehand. Do not skip a meal or even a snack beforehand. Exercising while hungry can not only make it uncomfortable, but it will also be the quickest way to make you sick.
Your body needs energy and fuel from foods before any physically demanding activity. Therefore, you should make sure that you are loading up on the proper nutrients to make your workout the best that it can be for your body.
It is also a good idea to have a snack after your workout session to make up for the energy you’ve lost. Post-workout foods for fitness could include fruits, smoothies, or even a healthy salad.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Working Out
When eating your pre-workout meal, keep in mind that fiber takes longer to digest, and if you eat a fiber-rich meal right before working out, it may cause stomach problems like diarrhea.
Avoid foods like whole grains and beans before you exercise. Instead, opt for high GI foods such as brown rice or cereal as your body will burn them off much faster.
Your pre-workout snack should also include protein. If you are working on gaining muscle, then you could eat chicken or hard-boiled eggs. Protein helps to repair your muscles by using amino acids and also provides energy for your workout session.
Your pre-workout snack should be high in carbs and low in fats with a moderate amount of protein. But what you eat also depends on the kind of workout routine that you’re doing. It is also very important to stay hydrated during your workout sessions.
There are many different kinds of workout routines, and eating right is the best way to get the maximum benefit out of them. Pre-workout meals should be light yet filling, high in carbs, and with a good amount of protein to keep you going during your workout sessions.
We hope this article helps you decide what to eat before a workout and what to avoid.