Do I eat now or later?

I am constantly getting this question on my blog and on my Facebook page.  I figured it was time to give my opinion on this topic.  While my workouts are typically at night and I have to deal with whether or not to eat dinner before my workout (I do eat, btw)

But for those of you that prefer to workout in the morning I am determined to give you the information you need.

You need to remember that Food is fuel and therefore it is important to eat at least something prior to a workout.  Eating before exercise serves specific functions for your body:

  1. your muscles are fueled with the food eaten the day before as well as the hour before your workout
  2. your stomach is happier as it is settled and not playing hunger head games
  3. helps prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)- a dangerous position to be in and the symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, and headaches
  4. helps mentally knowing that your body has what it needs to push yourself in your workout.

There really is no set amount of how much to eat as well as what to eat.  This really does vary from person to person and activity to activity.  There really is no wrong choice and my best advice to you is to experiment with what works well…If you feel full and feel like you are gonna barf, well then next time back off.  If something is too sweet, next time go for something like oatmeal.  But everyone is really different.

Not only fueling yourself in the morning is important to your success.  But really maintaining healthy nutrition is key to success.  You really won’t see the results you are looking for unless you fuel your muscles consistenly with the right food.  Good Wholesome Food and stay away from the fried food.  Vegetables and salads with no crappy dressing are a simple solution to putting the right things in your body.  If you hate fruits, vegetables and salads, then contact me and let me know.  I have a really great alternative for people just like you! http://facebook.com/mycoachannagray

Many people choose NOT to eat before working out because they are worried about feeling sluggish, having cramps or diarrhea, and/or an upset stomach.

One more thing to think about, if you workout on an empty stomach you will be exercising on fumes, not fuel.  Like not putting gas in your car before driving to work.

Remember too that after your workout you should really fuel your body some more.  You have just burned through your “gasoline” and in order to get your engine moving you need to eat some protein and carbs, so this is where you would typically have your eggs, toast, and coffee.  Roughly 60% of these calories should be from Carbohydrates, this is in order to replace the Glycogen that you have lost in your workout, 25% of your meal should come from Protein, this will stop your body from breaking down the muscle to use for energy and will start to actually rebuild and repair the muscle you just worked on.   HERE is what I drink only after a REALLY REALLY tough workout as it has the perfect Carb to Protein Ration and replenishes what I just lost so that I can come back hard the next day.

Stay away from the processed foods my friends, now is not the time to say I can eat anything because I just worked out.

…for those that can’t get their workout in the morning and have to workout at night, the same holds true, fuel your body to get through your workout.  What I typically do these days is drink my Shakeology about 45 minutes before my workout.  This also keeps me from overindulging after my workout especially late at night.

So put something in your system and your body will perform to its maximum potential.