What Should I Eat Before I Work Out
Are you heading to the gym today? You probably have a strategy for your workout, but what about your pre-workout snack? You might be wondering if you should eat or not. Or you might know you need to eat, but are unsure what is best. One thing is certain – your nutrition before hitting the WOD can make a big difference in how you feel during and after your workouts – and affects your progress as well.
“Nutrition plays a critical role in your fitness. Proper nutrition can amplify or diminish the effect of your training efforts. Effective nutrition is moderate in protein, carbohydrate, and fat.” (CrossFit Journal, 2002). Nutrition is the base of the pyramid of fitness – it is what performance and health are built on. Unlike many other factors affecting your training, what you put in your mouth is something you can control!
To make the most of your time at the gym, be sure to eat something that will give you energy and help your body perform at the intensity you want it to. So, what should you eat before your workout? It depends on your goals, and the context of your day but a few general rules apply:
- Avoid working out on an empty stomach (even if you workout early in the morning)
- Aim for liquid carbs and protein because they don’t need a lot of time to digest (<1hr)
- Hydrate before you get to the gym (rather than chugging as you walk in)
- Caffeine, 3-6 mg per kg of body weight, 1 hour before working out can be beneficial
- Plan to replenish with carbs and protein after your workout as well – either a meal within 2 hours or a whey shake and a fruit or a Fitaid
TriForce recommends that the best pre-workout snack provides a balance of protein and carbohydrates and this can look different depending on how much time you have before working out.
If you’re not sure what to eat before a workout, don’t worry! We’ve got some ideas for you and nutrition coaches available for personalized recommendations.
Here are some easy pre-workout snacks for < 1 hr before a workout:
1. Low Fat Greek yogurt + fruit
2. Low Fat Cottage cheese + fruit
3. Small whey protein shake + unsweetened applesauce pouch
4. Fuel For Fire pouch (whey protein + fruit puree)
5. Small whey protein shake made with coconut water
6. Egg or egg whites + fruit or toast
7. Rice cakes + sliced turkey meat
Having the right foods before you work out can help ensure that you have enough energy to make it through your workout, and it can also help prevent nausea or lightheadedness. And if you have any questions about what to eat or how to structure your diet around working out, don’t hesitate to reach out to us – the TriForce Nutrition coaches are happy to help!