Eating Before You Work Out: What and When?

There are all sorts of theories about what you should eat and when. There's one that persists - working out on an empty stomach burns more fat. This CAN be true, but the consensus from
fitness industry professionals is that if you want a better workout that burns more calories overall, you need a glucose fix to maintain energy and perform at your best. If you work out at the break of day, it's much easier to knock back an espresso and go, but otherwise, working on an empty stomach just isn't realistic.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Choose complex carbs for glucose and lasting energy
  • Bananas have magnesium and potassium - this is a great combo when you're getting sweaty because you lose potassium through sweating and magnesium is essential for healthy nerve function and muscle repair
  • Avoid fats - even the healthy ones! Why? Fats take longer to empty from the stomach, so blood is diverting away from you muscles to your digestive system to break the fats down
  • Combining protein and carbs after your workout is the ideal way to rebalance your glucose levels and start the repair process. Studies have proven that instead of fuelling on carbs alone, the combination of protein and carbs is just as effective for restoration! 10 - 20g
    protein is DEFINITELY enough
  • HYDRATE! Water. If you are working out OVER 90 minutes or really high intensity, sports drinks are ok (select carefully - these are high in sugar and salt)
  • Hydrate well before you workout because it takes 20 minutes for the water you ingest to be absorbed so that water stop halfway through aerobics? You'll be stretching by the time it hits your system. You will feel thirsty ONLY AFTER you are already dehydrated
  • Roughly 600ml to 1 litre of water in the two hours prior to your workout is recommended
  • Caffeine is a stimulant - an espresso before you start is a great idea. Several afterwards? Not so much!

Greek Yoghurt 200 - 250g (preferably not sweetened/flavoured) +

Oatmeal with fresh fruit or handful sultanas

Wholegrain cereal with milk

Wholewheat bread with sliced banana and cinnamon or honey

English muffin with jam or almond butter

Water. Water water water.

Raisin/fruit toast with almond butter or honey

Strawberry, banana smoothie