Eating Before Exercise
Should I ever exercise on an empty stomach?
No matter what time of day you exercise, you should never workout on an empty stomach.
Eating a snack within the couple of hours before you exercise will provide you with more fuel for your workout routine. In fact, if you are not fueled up enough, your workout simply will not provide the same benefits that it would if you had eaten.
I like to exercise in the morning. Do I have to eat breakfast first?
You don't have to eat an entire meal, but you should eat something before you start exercising. After a night's sleep, your body has basically fasted for many hours (hopefully about 8 hours). Without eating or drinking for so many hours, your blood pressure is pretty darn low and this will affect your workout.
Eat some yogurt, drink some water, and then continue getting your morning started before exercising.
What if I don't eat before working out?
Well, you may not feel the effects, but it is likely that you won't perform as well in your exercise as you could. Other effects could be:
- Fainting/Passing Out
- Lack of Energy
Does it matter what I eat before working out?
The kind of meal you eat can change the effectiveness of your workout.
A balanced diet includes a combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. However, the kinds of carbs you include in your pre-exercise meals/snacks can affect the amount of calories you burn while exercising.
Two Types of Carbohydrates:
- high-glycemic index carbs
- low-glycemic index carbs
To burn more calories, you should eat a low-glycemic carb meal.
You may have heard about athletes who need to eat a high carb meal, but this doesn't apply to everyone. If you are exercising at a level below triathlon intensity, you should eat a low-glycemic carb meal.
What kinds of foods should I eat before exercising?
- Skim Milk
- Whole Grains
Should I exercise right after I eat?
You know your own body, so you probably know that if you eat and jump into a workout routine, you will feel kind of funky. Allow the food to settle a bit before exercising. If it is a small snack, it probably doesn't need as much time as an actual meal does. When i exercise in the morning, I drink some water and eat a small yogurt. Then I get ready for my workout: change into my gym clothes, fill my water bottle, etc. By the time I'm ready, the food has had time to settle.
Learn More About the Glycemic Index
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