Everyone loves food.
We love different flavours and textures. We enjoy mixing and matching with various ingredients in our meals. So when some people first started to avidly pursue fitness, they worry that they will have to give a lot of it up. They think that they will have to stick to a strict diet of just a handful of foods. Thank heavens that they do not. Yes, there are a few rules, but there is also some flexibility and creativity allowed.
The first two hard and fast rules on eating before a workout are:
- If later during the day, you should have eaten a full meal three to four hours before your workout. The meal should be roughly 450 calories, of which 20 grams should be protein and 20 to 30 grams should be complex low GI carbohydrates (think chicken, rice, and veggies).
- You should eat a snack about 30 minutes before your workout. The snack should be light, with a mix of simple carbs and protein (think apple and peanut butter).
Simple carbs provide fast-acting energy for your body, while low GI complex carbs provide it with slow-releasing energy. So basically, the meal you have a few hours before you workout will steadily pump energy into your body before and throughout the duration of your workout. The snack you have will give you a little boost. When it comes to the protein, adding this in prevents your body from eating away at your muscles, as well as assisting in their growth and recovery.
However, there is one thing you should avoid having too much of before your workout--fats. It takes too long to digest fats so your body will spend more energy trying to push them through your system, taking away from any energy that you have put in your body.
To find out more about clean eating, read our free eBook: