Fitness Tip of the Week: Eat Before You Workout!

Posted: August 31, 2012 in Articles, Tip of the Week

Hey everyone,

There is some confusion with my clients as to eating before workouts.  Let me clear it up…YOU MUST EAT BEFORE YOU WORK OUT.  Ok, I hope that helped 🙂

Many people think you shouldn’t eat before you work out.  Perhaps this is because people believe they will burn fat if there is no energy directly in their stomach or blood stream.  However, your body doesn’t work this way.  You would be more likely to burn stored muscle glycogen (a good thing) and protein, because you are in a starvation state.  Also, you will have much less energy and not be able to work as hard, thus burning fewer calories.  So if you are trying to lose weight it actually thwarts your efforts.  If you are trying to gain muscle, strength, power or speed you will be less likely to reach your goals by starving yourself before your workout.

So here is my recommendation (based on scientific research, as is everything I put on this blog).  Most research recommends a 3:1 (some say 2:1, 3:1, 4:1) carbohydrate to protein ratio consumed between 30 and 60 minutes prior to exercise.  This means for every gram of protein you eat you need to eat three grams of carbohydrate.  Now, the amount of food you eat depends on your activity level, metabolism, body size and how close the workout is to a meal and how hungry you are.

There are many supplements that offer a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.  However, a good pre workout snack would be an apple and peanut butter.  I am not saying that is what you should eat, but it is a good example of  a proper carb to protein ratio.

So, make sure you eat a snack before you work out!

Comments
  1. Amie says:

    Thanks Garrett, I have the tendency to not eat prior to workouts that are about 40 minutes or less- will make a conscious effort to eat.

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