All About the Preparation

by Chang Song | June 3rd, 2011 | Eating Tips

It doesn’t really matter what line of work you are in, the preparation you do determines how much success you are going to have. This is also true in the world of fitness. What you do and what you eat before a workout is essential to getting the most benefits.

The food you eat before is important for both comfort and performance during exercise. Foods, such as energy bars and other easily digestible carbohydrates, can help prevent symptoms of hunger. They also keep you from depleting your energy too quickly. What you eat before an workout or a game is really up to you; however, the food you ingest should be suitable to the intensity, length, and type of workout you plan to do.

The preparation done before a workout in regards to eating is about understanding the concept of the three W’s: when, what, and without. Before a workout, you have to know when to eat and what to eat. You also need to understand foods you are better without.

First of all, eat 1-2 hours before a workout, and don’t eat too much or too little. We all know that  exercising on a full stomach is not ideal. Food that remains in your stomach during a workout may cause nausea and cramping, but you need to make sure you have enough food to fuel your workout. Some sources state you should let your food fully digest before a workout. This generally takes 1 to 4 hours; it all depends on what and how much you’ve eaten. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that everyone is unique, so the time it takes to digest food for you will be different than someone else.

Glucose is the preferred energy source for most pre-workout meals and snacks. Your pre-workout meal should include something that is high in carbohydrates and glucose, and something that is easy to digest at the same time. Suggestions include: fresh fruit, bread, bagels, pasta with tomato sauce, baked potatoes, yogurt, and an energy bar.

The last W stands for the food you can do without before exercise. Foods with a lot of fat or fiber can be difficult to digest. They will pull blood into the stomach to aid in digestion, which can cause cramping and discomfort; therefore, meats, doughnuts, fries, potato chips, and candy bars should be avoided pre-exercise.

With the three W’s in mind, you are on your way to getting the most benefit from your workout.


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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.