What Is Best To Eat Before Exercise?

What Is Best To Eat Before Exercise?

Many people, like myself, have issues with eating the correct foods before working out. If I eat anything too soon before lifting weights or playing rugby my stomach is constantly churning and I feel like I cannot keep my food down.

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The key is the right type of food and enough time given prior to a game or training session for it to digest.

However, it may be the case that you do not require a meal anyway. If you are planning to exercise within 45 minutes from now and you have eaten a nutritious meal within the last 2 hours there isn’t a need to eat again.

However, if you haven’t yet eaten within a 2-hour time frame you may wish to find something, but you must make it appropriate to the planned exercise.

A rule of thumb is that the lower the intensity of planned exercise, the less calories required.


Walking: Try a pear and some cheese.

Yoga: To ensure you do not bloat while in one of the positions, try easily digesting carbs and protein 1 hour before your class. Something like white meat and low fat milk. This should come in at around 200 calories.

Strength training: You are aiming for around 250 calories. So you could try 1 cup Greek yogurt plus 1 medium banana. These muscle building proteins and energizing carbohydrates will aid recovery. Ensure that you eat these at least 30 minutes before lifting.

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Running/Intense Cardio: My personal peeve. I hate running, it is just a shame that rugby consists of about 80 minutes of running around a field so I guess I just have to deal with it. However, the heavier the foods, the more it will slow you down and slosh around in your stomach.

Try something like a wholemeal bagel plus almond butter for fast burning carbs to give you the energy you need. Eat no later than an hour before your run.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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