What's the consensus on........
........eating or not eating before exercising? If you exercise first thing in the morning, should you eat something first or not? I have heard both many times over and never know what to believe. Thanks so much! :)
I don't know the *correct* answer, just what I prefer...
I like to eat something light and easily digested (a snack) 1/2 hr. before I excercise *if* I am hungry. A banana or two works great for me or some dates. Fruit in general is good because it digest quickly and gives you some energy.
Even some fresh juice would be good.
Than something heavier--a meal--after I work out. If I remember right,
I thought it was good to eat after a workout for some reason I read in
"SHAPE" MAGAZINE ages ago...refuels the muscles, yadda yadda yadda.
Plus a heavy meal might make you drag if your body is trying to digest that
instead of sending your energy to your muscles...you know don't swim after you eat type thing...
Now I rarely work out right after I wake up, so not sure what works out best.
I think it depends on how strenious your workout is. If it is light yoga or light
walking you may skip the snack and go right too it. If it is going to be a longer walk/run and weight training a snack works best for me because I tend to get low blood sugar if I do a strenious workout without eating anything.
Just my humble opinion...
For me, that would depend on when I'm "working out", what I'm doing, etc.
I usually get out in the a.m. ~ walking or swimming. I don't feel to eat or drink anything except water, so, that's what I do then make a green smoothie after. If I go later in the day, I will have eaten so, depends. If I'm walking I may go out sooner than if I'm swimming. I don't swim for awhile after eating.
For me, there are rarely any "shoulds" other than I "should" do what feels right to me in the moment... AND... to enjoy life and play with my food. :)
When I was eating cooked, I couldnt eat before a workout because the food would take awhile to digest. Since I have been raw I am finding the opposite is true, I need to eat a banana or 2 or some melon before I workout or run. I find this is true especially when I run for if I don't I suffer from serious energy depletion. But you have to see what works best for your body.
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"Brethren... this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind... I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
When I was training for a marathon I ate a banana or granola bar (I wasn't raw then) before the run and even nibbled on a banana or something during a long run! But you have to do that slowly so your stomach gets use to it.
When I'm just going to the gym for an hour or so in the morning, I do not eat. I just drink lots of water or lemon water. I read that your metabolism really kicks in if you don't eat before a morning workout. I don't know if that's true though.
And when I swim, I don't eat at all. It just doesn't feel right to me.
When I was dancing professionally, which really takes it outta' yah, 4 hours non-stop, very strenuous work for sure, I was eating cooked, and I wouldn't eat anything all day long except drink water.
When I went to Japan to dance, and it was so hot and humid, I was still eating cooked, and I would eat one small salad and maybe something sweet before I danced, or I couldnt' get through it, then in intermission, I had to drink 4 pops or I couldnt' make it through the second set.
But it was 124 degrees, with humidity of about 90, and that was in air conditioning, gosh I could NEVER do that now.
Of course, I dropped about 20 pounds that summer with that high of exercise too.
Well, it was 22, years ago, now that I think of it, and I was about 100 pounds thinner. LOL
So, I think it is best to drink some fresh fruit juice and I think like Todd says, a banana or two would be good.
It sure is different for everyone but for me I prefer to exercise without eating anything. I really get a tummy ache if I eat first, even a light meal. Now when I was eating cooked breakfasts I always ate and then exercised, strange as that seems now!
I do take a bottle of water with me, either to the health club or where ever I am going for my outside walk. I exercise for 2 plus hours a day and breakfast is closer to lunch time, around 11:00 or later in the morning. But this sure works for me, amazing as I never thought I could exercise on an empty stomach!
I'd say experiment to see what "feels" right for you.
I often exercise first thing and prfer not to eat. The theory for weight loss is if you exercise first thing in the morning your glycogen levels are depleted and so your body must use fat stores to fuel you - but then again everyone can come up with a thoery that works.
I am a part tie fitness instructor and I tell my clients do what works for you. I would not eat a heavy meal but see nothing wrong with juice, fruit, salad or whatever it takes. Experiment and see what leads you to have a more energetic and fulfilling workout.
Thanks for all the responses everyone!
I do the same thing as squidly, for the same reasons. It has worked beautifully for me. But, everyone is different so experiment with yourself and see what works best :)
Hi, fellow Lisa :),
I think it depends on what works for you. I echo what others said here about eating a bit of easily digestable food prior to working out in the morning :) I know for me, my blood sugar is pretty low in the morning from not eating for many hours.
I myself am a bike racer...I've successfully raced on fruit for breakfast and later on, some nuts or other protein for a snack...If I have a later afternoon race, I'll eat a Larabar (I save those for race day if I am really hungry).
I rarely workout in the morning so I am just talking about my racing experience more or less because that is the only time I think I 'move' in the morning LOL...
Hugs to you,
Originally Posted by LISAinTN
I have read, and hour before, complex carbs. An hour after (or so) protein.
Experiment and see what works for you. I believe personal epxerience is often the best gauge (not always) in finding out what does, or doesn't work for each individual.
You really need to eat something before you work out ! A banana or green smothie, or a few handfulls of almonds even.
You need some energy supply for the body otherwise you will NOT get that fat burning metabolism fire started and your body will then have no source of energy (food) so it wil reach to it's fastest and easiet to break down source of energy your LEAN MUSCLE mass ! here you are working so hard to develop some nice muscle tone and your body is using it for enrgy to complete your work and your not burning fat ! because after it has depleted your lean muscle stores it will move to protien for energy..very hard on the liver and by now you will be exhausted and fatigued from your work out and once again have not burned fat but lean muscle instead !
Hopes this helps, I see this almost everyday I am a Certified personal trainer , aerobics instructor, Phys ed teacher and nutrional counsel both in school and at the fitness center. I have heard time and time again from clients how much more (results) they are getting out their workouts once they started having some food (energy) before they workout.
I run and do weights first thing when I wake up...so I have a bit of water only.
I know it's probably not the best way to do it but I eat shortly after returning (after a big glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon). My stomach gets very unhappy if I eat and then run within 1/2 hour.
I think the answer to the question of whether to eat or not before a workout needs to come from the individual. Everyone is so different in their energy needs, and how quickly they metabolize food.
For myself, I have always needed to eat something before exercising, but never less than an hour before. On weekend mornings, I get up early and eat my usual fruit breakfast. Then I wait about an hour to 1 1/2 hrs before working out. On weekday afternoons after work, I have a few pieces of fruit, again about an hour before exercising. I also need to re-fuel shortly after my workouts. I don't necessarily need to have a full meal right away, but I do need to have a little something to build up my blood glucose levels again.
I would say experiment a little, and see what works well for you personally.