Do you really need to eat something before a workout? The answer depends on what your goal and workout is and what you like!
Trying To Lose Weight
If your are trying to lose weight, try working out on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to maximize fat burning. If you are a member of the Tone It Up community, you know this as your Booty Call. It’s a 30 minute cardio start to your day. If however your booty call workout is going to be your only workout and will last longer than 45 minutes of maximum effort, think spin class, you may want to have something small, like 1/2 a banana to power through and burn as many calories as you can.
If you workout later in the day after work and are starving, eating something small before hand will fuel your routine to be an all out effort. Try simple sugars that will digest quickly like a piece of fruit, half a protein bar, green or other fresh pressed veggie juice, trail mix or cheese! Yes, I said cheese. I wrote this fun blog for The Laughing Cow earlier this month on fun ways to add more cheese to your pre and post workout meals. Keep your pre workout meal to 150 calories or less.
Training For a 10K or more challenging race
If you are training for a race, eat something before your workout if it’s first thing in the morning. You also will want to eat something before hand if the workout is going to last longer than 90 minutes or you simply are hungry at the time you scheduled to workout. If you are properly fueled, your workout will be lackluster and it will be challenging for your body to perform as it is optimally equipped to do so. Try having a slice of whole grain toast like Ezekial bread with peanut butter, a fruit smoothie, an energy bar, coffee, spirulina, or my favorite go to, Vega Pre-Workout energy mix. Aim to eat at least 30 minutes before your workout.
Get Fit and Build Muscle
If you are hungry eat. Sometimes we don’t know when we are actually hungry so this can hard but try to listen to your body. The above two recommendations apply here as well. If you’re workout is going to be 30-60 minutes, you don’t really have to eat before but make sure you eat something afterwards with carbs and protein. A 3:1 ratio is recommended but I’ve seen people suggest 4 grams of carbs to 1 gram of protein and also a 2:1 ratio. If you do more cardio, stick with a 4-3:1 ratio, but if it’s a strength specific workout with minimal cardio, a 2-1:1 works!
What is your go to pre-workout snack? I’ve recently been experimenting with spirulina tabs by EnergyBits, but find my shot of espresso and Vega Pre-Workout Energy mix are the best when it comes to boosting energy for a workout.
BACK IN THE DAY 10K
Additional announcement! My friends at City Sports are hosting a fabulous 10K in Davis Square, Somerville MA on June 30th to celebrate their 30th Birthday! Everyone is encouraged to wear 80′s gear for the race! So much fun. Sadly, it’s the same day as my triathlon so I will not be there, but I would if I didn’t have a conflict. I do not pass up opportunities to dress up in 80′s outfits. Sign up and get a limited edition T-Shirt, commemorative pint glass, 80′s style CS sunglasses and guaranteed post race fun. Sign up here.
Editor note that you already know but the FTC makes me include here: I am an official brand advocate for Bel Brands in 2013. While I receive compensation for participation as a brand advocate, opinions are my own.