What should you eat before training?
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Do you ever find that your pre-workout meal negatively impacts your workout? Do you feel fatigued, have gut discomfort or find yourself bonking earlier than expected? If so, you aren’t alone! Many endurance athletes struggle to fuel correctly and at the right times.
Here are a few tips to help you make your next pre-workout meal one that will support optimal performance: ▪ Aim for 0.45-1.75 grams of carbs per lb of body weight (or 1-4g per kg) in the 1-4 hours before exercise depending on the intensity and duration of the session. ▪ For long (2+ hours) or high intensity exercise try to eat 2.5 to 4 hours before. Aim for at least 1g of carbs per lb of body weight and include a moderate amount of fat, fiber and protein. An example of this could be oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries + a scrambled egg or pancakes, eggs and a cup of fruit.
▪ If you have <90 minutes before exercise: Avoid foods high fat & fiber, as these can cause stomach upset. An example of this could be white rice with a scrambled egg and maple syrup (don’t knock it till you try it 😋) or gluten free toast with jelly and a banana.
▪ If you have <60 minutes before training or are doing a shorter/less intense workout (say a 75 minute recovery spin for my cyclists out there) aim for the lowest end of that range. The goal here is to just top off your carbohydrate stores. An example could be a cup of mango and a slice of toast.
Here is one of my favorite go to breakfasts before a hard training session:
- Trader Joes Gluten Free Pancake Mix (~1/2 cup mix) + 1-2 tbsp beet powder**
- Maple syrup
- Scrambled egg
- Sauteed spinach
- Handful of blueberries
*Beets contain nitric oxide which improves blood flow and many research studies have linked beet consumption to improved athletic performance. Can't beet that!
Another great option is a cup of rice, sautéed spinach, 2 eggs and some avocado!