Should You Eat Before You Workout?

You ever have that awkward moment where you’re hungry and you’re about to exercise in a couple of hours, but you’re not sure if you should have a big bowl of pasta or an apple. Well knowing what you should eat before you workout can be crucial.

What you eat before you exercise could be the difference between you owning your workout, or your workout owning you.  Making sure you are putting the right fuel in your body is key to you having the right amount of energy to get through your workout and not passed out near some machine.

Depending on which article you read, you will have people saying that working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat.  

Maybe some people exercise better on an empty stomach, but like most living things, having energy is required to get through an intense workout and the only way to do that is by providing your body with the right type of fuel.

Avoid Working Out On An Empty Stomach

Some may argue that working out on an empty stomach helps you burn more fat.  I don’t know about you, but would you drive a car without gas?  So when we are talking about the human body, it tends to have less energy when it lacks fuel.  So it doesn’t make much sense for me to workout out when my energy is at its lowest.

The purpose of working out is to exert as much energy as possible to burn as much calories as possible.  It’s kinda hard to do that when the body doesn’t have much energy to begin with.  Some symptoms that can occur as a result of working out on an empty stomach are:

  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Nausea

So if you have any of these symptoms occur while you are working out, a good question to ask yourself is, what did I eat before coming to the gym?

Workout Intensity

What you should eat depends a lot on how intense your workout will be. The more intense your workout is, the more important it is to give your body the right type of fuel necessary to get through the workout.

If your workout consists of light jogging, then you could possibly get away with not needing much in your stomach since it requires little energy.

But if your workout involves something intense like kickboxing, then I would highly recommend you fuel up since it requires a lot more energy.  So making sure you have the right fuel for the workout is important.

Importance Of Having Proper Nutrients

Once you have decided on the intensity level of your workout, making sure you have the right nutrients in your body to help get you through the workout is key.  

Understanding which nutrients are better for your body when it comes to exercise is important because it could be the difference between a good workout or a bad workout.

Your body needs quality carbs, lean protein, healthy fats and fluids for proper hydration. These nutrients are necessary to give the body the energy it needs to power through any workout.

Keep It Light


Unless you want to see what you ate on the mat of a gym, I suggest you try to keep it light.  Eating a big meal before working out is a mistake you will quickly learn from.  So when deciding what you should eat before working out, here are a some suggestions:

  • Protein Bar
  • Protein Shake
  • Banana
  • Caffeine
  • Apple
  • Oats
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Eggs

Focus more on snacks rather than trying to eat a big meal which can make you sluggish and even cause vomiting.  Snacks like the ones shown above, should give you enough energy to get through your workout, but not too much to upset your stomach..

When To Fuel Up

A good time to fuel up is about 30-45 minutes before your workout. As mentioned earlier, depending on the intensity of your workout, you may be able to even get away with having a banana or a protein bar 10-15 minutes before working out.

The goal is to make sure that whatever you are putting in your body will give you enough energy to get you through the workout.

There you have it.  Tips on how to fuel your body when it comes to working out and as always, don’t forget to share below how you fuel up before a workout.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Houston - November 7, 2016

I really enjoyed this article. I prefer to eat a banana about 15 minutes before I work out. I can definitely identify with the intensity of the workout being affected by the amount of “fuel” your body has.

    Ralph - November 7, 2016

    Thanks Houston! A banana definitely works great when getting ready to workout. Glad you enjoyed the article!

Andrea - November 6, 2016

Excellent advice here, Ralph. I’m glad you pointed out that its okay to eat something 45 minutes before working out, but it should be LIGHT. Some people eat a full course meal an hour before coming to class and wonder why they feel nauseous! Keep up the good advice!

    Ralph - November 6, 2016

    Thanks Andrea! Yea if you like to vomit, then I guess enjoy the full course meal. Happy you enjoyed the article.


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