Eating before a workout – what is best?

This question comes up often. There are some people who claim that you should never eat before you workout as that would counteract any fat loss that you are attempting to do, others say the opposite. Essentially, the science behind whether or not you should you should eat before you workout is inconclusive.

So, really then it becomes a personal decision. How do you feel early in the morning before you workout? Should you eat something to help you fuel through your workout and help you burn off those calories? Clearly, this is something you will have to discover through experimentation.

Should you eat before your workout?

The question of whether or not you should eat before a workout should be answered by how do you feel while you are working out? Basically, do you have the energy to get through your 1 hour in the gym or through a DVD that you are working through? If you don’t have enough to get through your workout then you absolutely should eat beforehand, doing otherwise will compromise your end results.

Now you could eat something light, like a protein bar or a protein shake to get something in your stomach. Those calories can then be used to help burn off whatever fat you are trying to get rid of, if you are weight training your metabolism should be operating at a higher level anyway. You see if you lift weights at all during your workout your body will burn more calories for a longer period of time, so anything you eat beforehand is going to be burned off.

What to take right before your workout?

What you eat before you workout could determine your performance while you are working out. Don’t eat anything particularly heavy or fattening. Avoiding fattening foods are what are going to help you not vomit if you should push yourself to your limits. Even a bowl of oatmeal is going to be fine as long as you give yourself enough time to start to digest this food.

Some people advocate taking their post workout drink before, during, and after they have worked out. That way you can get the necessary amino acids and other vital vitamins to help you recover from any intense session. The many studies conducted show that it can take anywhere from 60 minutes to 180 minutes for food to start to affect your bloodstream and start to be fully incorporated into your body.

Ultimately the decision is yours

Clearly, there is no right or wrong answer here. The question you should be asking is how you feel before your workout, during your workout, and after your workout if you should eat beforehand or not. That is why it is so very important to keep track of your daily intake of foods as well as your moods to adjust your course of action.

Some athletes even go as far as to test their blood sugar before they workout and on multiple times per day to see how their food is affecting their body. Doing this is a bit extreme and typically not recommended. You should really only perform routine blood tests on a quarterly or even bi-annual basis if you want to monitor how your body is reacting to any changes in diet or exercise. There are now several companies that are starting to offer blood testing services that can really help you improve your performance long term, and these tests should give you a better understanding if any supplements are actually helping you or not.