Eating Before Exercise

Rashely Reyes

Should you do it

You should always eat something before exercising so your body has enough fuel to power through your workout. The rationale behind this widely accepted myth is that forgoing food before exercise will force your body to burn more fat during your workout.

Time is right

As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to pre-workout eating, “you can time it any way you like, but the closer you get to a workout, the more simple the meal should be,” says Sass. If you eat two to three hours before, you’ll have time for your food to digest and be absorb from your GI tract into your blood.

Staying Hydrated

Water is often enough. But if you're exercising for more than 60 minutes in hot, humid conditions, sports drinks may help. They give you carbs and sodium, as well as fluids.

Sports drinks are also a good choice if you play team sports like soccer or football, especially when the temperature and humidity are high. If you sweat a lot, a sports drink might be preferable to water.

Ideal meal to eat before exercise

There's no one meal that you need to eat before working out. Instead, focus on these 5 things:

  1. Low fat
  2. Moderate in carbs and protein
  3. Low fiber
  4. Includes fluids
  5. Made up of familiar foods that you tolerate well