Can You Eat Then Workout?

If you’re wondering whether it’s better to eat before or after a workout, the answer is that it depends on your goals. If you’re looking to improve your performance, you should eat before working out. But if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to consider working out on an empty stomach.

Benefits of Eating Before Working Out

Eating before working out can actually have many benefits. Having the right fuel in your body can help you have more energy and endurance to work out for longer and more efficiently. Eating before your workout can also help you to recover faster afterwards, as your muscles will be able to take advantage of the nutrients that you ingest. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s important to eat before working out.

Improved performance

When it comes to exercise, eating before working out can have a significant benefit. Eating the right type of food before a workout can provide you with tremendous boosts in performance, stamina and help you reach your health goals. Having enough energy and nourishment throughout your session is also an important part of having an effective workout. To make the most out of your efforts in the gym, let us look at some of the benefits that come with pre-workout fuelling.

Improved performance: Eating before working out helps replenish energy stores used during light-moderate activity sessions and gives you more energy to perform high intensity exercises. This is especially beneficial for athletes who participate in strenuous activities like sprinting and powerlifting as they need even more fuel to push their bodies through such routines. Consuming carbohydrate-rich foods prior to exercising can also help improve alertness, concentration and coordination throughout the session. For those looking for a caffeine-free pre workout option, this can be a great way to gain energy without the crash that comes with caffeine.

Faster recovery: Eating before or soon after exercising can help replenish lost glycogen stores – which are used up during any kind of physical activity – faster than if you weren’t to eat anything at all. Glycogen restoration helps reduce post workout muscle soreness by providing additional fuel for muscles cells that repairs damaged muscle fibers quickly and efficiently.

Increased energy

The body needs fuel in order to perform any physical activity, and consuming food prior to exercising will ensure that the body has enough energy. Eating before a workout provides the body with carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to use as energy in order for muscles to contract and for one to complete intense physical activities. It is necessary to create a balance between eating enough so that you have energy but not eating so much that it causes discomfort during exercise. Eating foods such as a banana or cereal bar with some protein or fat can help provide energy while also managing levels of fullness and satiety. This will help keep you energized while reducing the chances of an upset stomach during your workout.

Enhanced muscle recovery

Eating prior to exercise has been shown to result in enhanced muscle recovery after a workout. It is essential for individuals looking to gain muscle mass, as eating before and after a workout provides the energy needed for an intense exercise session. Pre-workout nutrition can also help reduce fat mass by providing the body the ability to oxidize more fat while exercising. Eating prior to a workout allows your body to have the energy it needs and helps build up muscles faster, which contributes to increased strength and power. Additionally, by consuming carbohydrates before a workout, you provide your muscles with glucose that can be converted into glycogen to fuel your exercises. This glycogen will help you last longer during physical activity and reduce fatigue so you get the most out of your workout. Therefore, eating before working out is crucial for maximizing performance and benefits from a physical activity session.

What to Eat Before Working Out

When it comes to eating before working out, there are many different opinions. Some people swear by eating a snack or a meal before a workout, while others opt for fasting. Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your body type and what type of workout you are doing. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of eating before working out and provide some tips on what to eat before exercising.

Complex carbohydrates

When you’re gearing up for a workout, it’s important to ensure your body is properly fueled with complex carbohydrates. Studies have shown that including complex carbohydrates in pre-workout meals improves performance, among other benefits. Not only do they provide very usable energy, they also generate an array of vitamins and minerals essential in providing the right kind of fuel for the body before and after physical activity.

Examples of meals that contain complex carbohydrates are oatmeal with fresh fruits, whole wheat toast with nut butter, and quinoa with vegetables. Additionally, there are several combinations and recipes one can choose from to get their carbohydrate intake prior to a workout .It’s important to focus on foods that will not sit too heavily in your stomach before exercise and avoid processed items such as white breads, pastas or baked goods as these are made from refined grains which have had some important nutrients stripped away. Instead aim for those wholegrains like oats which provide optimal nutrition prior to exercise.

Examples of Complex Carbohydrate Foods:
-Whole grain breads
-Whole grain cereals such as bran flakes
-Brown rice

Lean proteins

Lean proteins are an important part of any workout routine and can promote muscle repair and growth. Eating lean proteins before exercising can help you perform better, maintain motivation and have more energy during your workout. To maximize these benefits, make sure to choose food that is low in fat, high in protein and easy to digest. Examples of good pre-workout foods that are high in lean proteins include:

-Grilled chicken or turkey breasts
-Egg whites
-Fish such as salmon, tuna or trout
-Low fat cottage cheese
-Tofu or edamame
-Low fat Greek yogurt with fruit
-Hummus with vegetable sticks
-Unsalted nuts or nut butter on whole wheat toast

For optimal results, aim to eat your pre-workout meal consisting of carbohydrates and protein 2 – 3 hours before exercising. This is because having a large meal just prior to exercise may cause feelings of nausea or lead to poor performance due to insufficient digestion timing. You can also opt for a smaller snack that’s rich in complex carbohydrates 30 – 60 minutes before physical activity if it’s been more than three hours since your last meal. Taking a few sips of water throughout the day will help ensure proper hydration which is necessary for optimal athletic performance.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are a critical component of any pre-workout meal. Fats slow digestion so your body has a steady supply of fuel throughout the entire workout. This is especially important for endurance athletes who plan to exercise for long bouts at a time. Nuts, olives, avocados, and wild-caught fish can all provide healthy fats that will keep your energy stable and prevent you from “hitting the wall” during exercise. Eating enough foods high in healthy fat is important for anyone planning to exercise intensely or for more than an hour. Small amounts every few hours should help you maintain energy throughout your workout.

How Much to Eat Before Working Out

Eating before a workout can provide you with the energy to exercise and can improve your performance. It is important to eat the right amount of food so that your body doesn’t feel heavy and sluggish while you are working out. But how much should you actually eat before your workout? Let’s explore this further.


It’s important to time your meals so that you can properly fuel up for your workouts. Eating too close to your exercise session may lead to discomfort and diarrhea, leaving you unable to get through the entire workout. If you’re looking for optimal performance during a workout, it’s best to aim for a snack that offers complex carbohydrates and low-fat proteins about two hours before exercising. This will give the food plenty of time to digest and be absorbed into your muscle cells before beginning the activity. Do not eat anything within 30 minutes of starting the workout as this can cause stomach cramping.

If you’ve got less than an hour or feel like you need an extra boost right before hitting the gym, try something lighter such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. This will replenish some energy without causing problems with digestion during your session. Food items like protein bars and shakes may sound appealing but they have higher sugar content making them difficult to digest without feeling bloated or nauseous during exercise.

No matter how much time is available before exercising, always start with hydration! Drink plenty of water throughout the day leading up to your workout session in order to stay adequately hydrated prior beginning any physical activity. Overhydrating (drinking more than necessary) can impair performance just as much as being dehydrated so it is important not take more than what is needed in terms of hydration levels..


The amount of food that you should eat before hitting the gym depends on the type of activity you will be doing and when, exactly, you got your last meal. Generally speaking,if it has been more than four or five hours since your last meal, you should have a light snack before exercising. A small piece of fruta or a protein-rich snack like half an avocado with some hummus can give you enough energy to work out effectively without feeling bloated.

If the time between meals is shorter – say two to three hours prior to working out – having something light like yogurt or a piece of fruit could be enough fuel for an easy workout session. However, if your exercise is more challenging and intense, it’s best to consume something more substantial such as a whole grain sandwich with peanut butter, slow cooked oats with nuts and seeds, quinoa salad with vegetables or half a turkey wrap. Eating too much before exercising can actually hinder performance because food takes time to digest and can cause cramping during exertion; so please plan accordingly.

What Not to Eat Before Working Out

Eating before a workout is important, but what you eat can have a big impact on how your body performs. Eating the wrong foods can cause digestive discomfort or indigestion, resulting in a lower quality workout. It’s important to know which foods you should avoid before you exercise, so let’s dive into some of the foods you should avoid before going to the gym.

High-fat foods

It’s best to avoid high-fat foods before you work out. High-fat meals take longer to digest, which can lead to increased feelings of sluggishness and fatigue during exercise. Research has also suggested that high fat meals impair both muscle growth and exercise performance when consumed too close to a workout session. This is because high fat foods cause the release of hormones such as insulin and cortisol, both of which can interfere with the muscle building process that occurs during exercise.

When it comes to working out, it’s best to fuel your body with nutrient-dense carbohydrates for energy instead of eating fatty foods immediately before your workout. Try opting for healthy snacks composed primarily of carbs such as nuts, seeds, fruits, whole grain breads or a banana smoothie with almond milk and plenty of honey or other natural sweetener. Additionally, drinking plenty of water before and during your workout is also essential in order to stay hydrated throughout your activities.

Sugary snacks

Before working out, it is important to make sure you are fueling your body properly. Many people figure that if they are just going for a basic workout, it doesn’t matter what type of food is eaten prior to the workout. However, the food consumed before physical activity has a substantial effect on how well you can perform during exercise. Sugary snacks are not recommended before exercising as the sugar leads to sudden energy spikes and crashes which interfere with physical performance. Specifically, sugary snacks offer little to no nutritional benefit for energy production, contain far too many calories for a pre-workout snack, and cause sugar highs and lows so drastic that they could interfere with cardiovascular exercise and muscular endurance/strength activities.

Instead of opting for sugary treats like candy or soda before working out, choosing nutrient-dense foods will provide sustained energy and prepare your body properly for physical activity. These foods include fruits (especially apples which contain natural sugars), nuts, yogurt with granola or nuts sprinkled on top, oatmeal or whole wheat toast with nut butter spread over one side (i.e., peanut butter). Other options include string cheese or an energy bar formulated specifically for athletes before workouts such as Clif Bars made from wholesome ingredients without artificial flavors/colors/sweeteners. With pre-workout preparation being such an important part of any success in physical activity, eating nutrient-dense foods immediately prior to a workout is essential to getting the most from one’s exercise routine!


Consuming alcohol too close to a workout can hinder your muscle-building progress, reduce your energy levels and impair your coordination, balance and reaction time. Exercise performance will be decreased while alcohol is still in the body since it interferes with motor control. Drinking any type or amount of alcohol before exercise can increase the risk of injury or unintended consequences as well. Examples include:

-Impaired vision and decision making
-Reducing coordination skills
-Lowered alertness
-Slowed response time
-Impaired athletic performance
-Decreased ability to recognize heat symptoms like fever, dehydration or exhaustion


After exploring the pros and cons of eating before or after a workout, it is evident that the best time to eat depends on the person. While some athletes may benefit from eating before a workout, others may do better eating after. The best way to decide is to experiment with different eating times and see what works for you. Ultimately, nutrition plays a key role in any successful exercise program and should be taken into account when deciding when and what to eat pre and post-workout.


In summary, it is possible to eat before working out, as long as you give yourself enough time to digest your meal. If you eat too close to your workout, you risk feeling bloated and uncomfortable during your exercise. It is recommended that you consume a light snack or meal one to four hours prior to exercise, depending on how heavy the meal was. Eating foods with a balance of carbohydrates and proteins, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins will provide your body the energy it needs for exercise. This combination of nutrients will also help aid in muscle recovery and growth after a workout. Ultimately, everyone is different so it’s important to experiment and find what works best for you.

Key Takeaways

There are several key takeaways to remember when deciding whether to eat before exercising:
-How much you eat is important. A light snack that contains carbohydrates and protein, and is low in fat, is best.
-Timing matters too; aim to eat a small meal or snack 1-3 hours before exercise so your body has enough time to digest the food.
-It’s also important to understand that everyone’s nutritional needs are different. If you have a specific health condition or are on certain medications, speak with your doctor before adjusting your diet.

Ultimately, there isn’t a simple answer for everyone because it depends on individual factors such as type and duration of exercise being done, overall health status and nutrition goals. Eating before exercising may help maximize performance but if it causes gastrointestinal discomfort during exercise then you may be better off avoiding eating beforehand. Experiment with different pre-workout meals or snacks and create an eating plan that works best for you!

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