Eating before a morning workout helps you stay motivated. Food is the fuel that keeps your body moving. The time you spend sleeping at night you are actually fasting for 6 to 8 hours. When you get up if you don’t give your body fuel it will be running on fumes while you exercise. Chances are that if you don’t eat prior to exercising you may feel sluggish, lightheaded, and unmotivated.
Eating before a workout can help you have more energy and motivation to push yourself further with your workouts. It will prevent low blood sugar and feeling lightheaded. You will be able to enjoy your workout more because your muscles and brain have enough fuel to perform to your full potential. Eating before helps control what you eat after your workout because you will not be starving and eat whatever is in front of you.
Waking up even a few minutes earlier before your workout and changing your routine so you eat before you get dressed may help with your pre workout snack. If you are trying to lose weight it is also important that you have something before your workout, but watch the calorie intake. It will avoid you eating less desirable food post workout.
If you are the type of person who has a hard time digesting solid food early on then drinking a sports drink or juice before you workout is another option. Staying hydrated is important during exercise and will allow you to perform better. Drinking 8 to 12 ounces of water 30 minutes before your workout would be beneficial, but if you can’t any small amount would still be helpful.
It is ideal to try to eat 200-300 calories one to two hours before exercise. It is your normal routine is to get up and right away begin to exercise, eat less. A snack 50-100 calories would be okay since your body can digest small amounts of food even within a few minutes of exercising.
Here are some suggestion for pre-workout snack which you can mix and match as you choose.
1/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 skim mill and raisins= 250 calories
1 cup of cereal with 1/2 cup of skim milk with banana= 260 calories
1 sports bar= 240 calories
1 cup orange juice and pretzels= 210 calories
1 pita with 1tbsp. Hummus=200 calories
8oz smoothie=150-180 calories
1 slice toast with tbsp peanut butter=175 calories
1 english muffin with 1 tbsp. jelly=170 calories
6oz low fat yogurt=140 calories
4 square graham crackers=130 calories
8oz juice (apple, banana,orange)= 50-100
8oz sports drink=50-80 calories
It takes time to learn exactly what you can eat before a workout that doesn’t upset your stomach. There is no one size fits all plan. You can experiment with different amounts of combination of food until you find one that you find feels best for you. Meals and Snacks should be high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat. This combination digest quickly and does not leave full before your workout.
By: Rita Zimmerman, LPTA/CLT