Can You Eat Before a Workout?

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Can You Eat Before a Workout?

When it comes to exercise, the advice you receive may be no less confusing than nutrition tips. Everyone has a different opinion on whether you should eat before a workout, so what’s the truth? Here’s what you need to know…

Ask yourself whether the following conditions apply:

  • You haven’t eaten in a while (as in, several hours or more)
  • You’re already very hungry
  • You’re following a weight loss plan
  • This workout is aimed at meeting a certain goal or exceeding a previous benchmark (distance, time, or weight, for example)

If any of those conditions apply, it’s probably a good idea to eat a light snack before your exercise session. The reason for this is that you don’t want to push yourself too hard without appropriate fuel. In fact, you might even find it difficult to meet a challenging new goal if you’re not fueled correctly. And, if you’re following a weight loss plan, you might as well schedule your workout to burn off calories from a previous meal.

On the other hand, what if these conditions apply?

  • Your last meal was less than three hours ago
  • You are going to eat fairly soon after your workout
  • You woke up early to exercise (and you ate a good-sized meal last night)
  • You’re engaging in more of a routine, maintenance workout

If one or more of these conditions apply, you probably don’t need to eat before your workout. A maintenance workout shouldn’t feel overly challenging, and there’s no risk of pushing yourself too hard if you’ve recently eaten or will soon eat.

If you do choose to snack before exercising, pair protein with complex carbs. This combination will give you the right fuel for your activity, and shouldn’t leave you feeling too “heavy”. And of course, remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Hopefully this blog clears up the issue for you, but remember you can call us with any concerns about exercise regimen or weight loss plan. We can help you get off to a great start.