You want to maximize your workout. Does eating beforehand play a part in your performance? As personal trainers, we get asked this question quite a bit. Before we get into specifics, there are few variables you want to consider.
First, is the time you workout. If you exercise early (say 6am), chances are, food isn’t even thought about at that time. However, if you exercise in the afternoon, then the hours you last ate gets extended. This is where you are more vulnerable and susceptible to feeling light-headed, nauseous, and sluggish. I recommend eating 2-3 hours before exercise. The golden rule is, the longer you go without eating, the more you are lacking energy. So if you exercise later than 7am, make sure to eat something to maximize your workout.
Liquid, dry, or solid foods.
Secondly, is the type of food you eat. Depending on if its liquid, dry, or solid, it can affect your performance during the workout. I usually stick with liquids or foods that are soft. For example, I eat bananas or Greek yogurt. Protein bars are a great option due to being dry and easy to process. I have a client that eats cereal before he comes in before his session. However, his performance is affected when doing heavy lifting. In my opinion, cereal is not the most ideal option. Yes, its calories, but not the most nutritious for optimizing performance. Some people may get away with drinking milk, but for me, it will hinder my workout. So identify which food options work best for you; liquid, solid, or dry food.
Optimize your workouts.
Lastly, is you have to build up a eating pattern around your workout. If you have been working out for a while, you want to optimize your workouts to the fullest potential. If I know I want to lift 300+ pounds in my deadlift, I cannot go into my workout with a empty stomach. I need as much energy, so I eat a complete meal (protein, carbs, and high quality fat) 2 hours beforehand. If I know I am exercising in the morning, say 6-7am, I prioritize what I will be eating AFTER I exercise. This is how you can optimize your RECOVERY, by eating a complete meal afterwards. The last thing I want people is skipping meals or going for more than 6 hours of NOT eating. So let’s get in the habit of eating beforehand and figuring what food allows for optimizing performance for YOU. Hope you liked this week’s blog. Stay tuned for more next Wed…………………………Kei