The Number One Thing to Eat Before a Workout

by Allen Gil July 22, 2015

The Number One Thing to Eat Before a Workout

When it comes to dieting and exercising your way to a leaner, sexier you, the “science” behind fat loss might seem pretty straightforward: eat less, exercise more. But the realities of diet and exercise for fat loss might surprise you. In fact, if you truly want to achieve a fit, healthier body, there are certain things you need to know about the reason it’s important to eat before you exercise, and what you should eat before a workout.


Busting the Fasted Cardio Myth

First of all, it might seem like a good idea to exercise on an empty stomach. You may have even been told at some point that fasted cardio dips into your energy reserves, thus burning more fat. Or maybe some other nonsense “logical” thinking behind depriving your body of nutrition before a workout. But studies like this one done by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine prove that your weight loss results differ insignificantly whether you eat before you workout or not.

In fact, as Christian Thibaudeau of T-Nation points out, the real difference between eating or not eating before a workout is the type of weight loss that will occur: fasted cardio will result in the breaking down of muscle, whereas supplying your body with the nutrition it needs before a workout will give it the energy it needs to maintain muscle, ultimately allowing your body to burn more calories even at rest (aka fat loss even when you aren’t sweating your butt off!) Don’t worry, if you eat right before you exercise, you’ll be building muscle to give you that bottom you’ve always wanted.

What To Eat Before a Workout

So, what should you eat before a workout? Your go-to guess might be protein, which is great for building and repairing muscle, but what you really need are carbohydrates that are easily digestible, like bread or yogurt. Carbs will give your body the energy it needs to perform at its highest, helping you maintain muscle while optimizing your workout. Here are a few suggestions for a pre-workout meal, just make sure to give your body time to digest the food, so that you don’t have food sloshing around in your stomach:

  • Whole wheat toast and peanut butter
  • Low-fat yogurt with slices of banana
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • A smoothie made with low-fat milk and/or yogurt and fruit
Remember: it’s important to fuel your body if you want to achieve a toned, lean, healthier you. Don’t skip out on that pre-workout meal!

Allen Gil
Allen Gil


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