You train hard, you put in the effort, why not maximize your results?
Fueling your body before training can help provide you with energy needed to do a few more reps or move a little quicker!
Even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete, it’s still a good idea to have a small meal or snack before working out.
When I am coaching clients 1:1, sometimes I find they aren’t eating anything before working out. Some have had their last meal over 5 hours before showing up to the gym. I like to encourage my clients to ask reflective questions from my Athlete Performance Self Check-in before we start adding in pre-workout meals or snacks in order for athletes to be more in tune with their body.
I then will shift the conversation by asking, “what might happen if you try eating a small snack 1 hour or so before training?” After meeting again, and after they have fueled before training, we ask the exact same questions and find that their answers are much more positive after adding those meals or snacks.
Why eat before?
Carbs give you quick energy to be at your peak performance while protein helps to start rebuilding muscle. Carbs are the most important pre-workout macronutrient. Fat stays in your stomach a little longer – which makes it perfect for meals, but not so great before training or working out. Depending on individual needs and how fast your digestive system is working, you may want to avoid a large amount of fat in a meal or snack before working out.
When should I eat?
Eating around 1 hr before working out can help ease digestive concerns while still providing energy. This is not a hard rule and can be moved around from ~1.5 hrs before to even 30 mins before depending on individual preference.
What should I eat?
Save this picture for a list of quick, energy-promoting snacks that are perfect before training!
Remember…NEVER try out new foods on competition day. Try to experiment during normal days to be sure you don’t have any gastrointestinal upsets when game day comes!