What should you eat before a workout?

I know some of you morning exercisers don’t like to eat before working out. I hear this a lot from people in my early morning fitness boot camps in Almaden (at the very cool Shamrock Martial Arts facility) and in Campbell (at John D. Morgan Park).

If you can handle it, it’s a good idea to have just a small, easily digestible snack before heading out the door (something on the order of 100-150 calories). If you’ve got some readily available fuel in your body, you’ll do much better in your workout. Obviously, if a small amount of food 30-60 minutes before a workout would make you ill–don’t eat!

If you can stomach a little food before an early morning workout, here are some fueling ideas. They’re easily digested sources of carbohydrates. Eat these 30-60 minutes before working out:
-1/2 of an energy bar ( one with more carbs than protein–save the huge protein bar for another day)
-1 piece of whole wheat toast
-1/2 or 1 whole banana
-1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (not the instant kind that’s full of sugar!)
-6 oz. yogurt (this is a combination food–it contains carbs and protein)

If you’re going to work out later in the afternoon, any of the above examples eaten about 30-60 minutes before a workout will do well for you as well.

I’ll address post-exercise nutrition in a future blog.

Fuel yourself well for optimal workouts!