What should I eat before exercising?

Posted: June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

I got this question from a dedicated exerciser this week. Thought I would share my answer because I see this as being a major issue with many exercisers.

Very often, lack of energy during an exercise session is not related to what you are eating right before exercise, but from incomplete feeding a day or more before. More specifically, right after your last hard exercise session. You should have no more than 3 training sessions per week that take you over your anaerobic or lactate threshold. Following those training sessions, you should consume a carb/protein type beverage (I like PureSport or Endurox) This should be consumed within 30 minutes of exercise termination. I guess some of the science is saying chocolate milk may also suffice, so try that for a cheaper alternative. Provided nutrition and hydration strategy has been good in the days leading up to your session, what you eat right before should have no effect on energy levels during training. Now, if that does not work, I believe that some apple slices with some peanut butter is best. Eating a pure carbohydrate tends to cause an inuslin rise and sets the body up to not burn fat predominantly during exercise. I often see athletes “squeezing off” an energy gel prior to training or drinking a heavy energy drink. Big mistake unless you want to have less energy and store unnecessary calories.

  1. phoenyxarts says:

    Great article! Normally I don’t like to eat anything solid right before exercise, makes me feel too heavy. And trying to do yoga too soon after eating is courting disaster. I know that it is ideal to have protein as a recovery, but I like to do the protein powder in water right before workout, then eat something like greek yogurt afterwards.

    I may have to give the peanut butter and apple thing a try before exercising some time. Love that combo!

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