To eat or not to eat ….that is the question!
Timing and type of workout is really the key for answering this question. Let me give you some simple guidelines to follow that should help you feel your best for whatever type of workout you choose to do.
If you are planning to do 30 minutes or less of cardio and your intensity is low to moderate, my advice is to skip the meal all together or have something light like a banana before heading out. Examples of these workouts would be a walk on the treadmill or outdoors, using an elliptical at an even pace with little resistance or even riding a stationary bike with little to no intervals or resistance. Chances are you will be burning less than 400 calories and you won’t need the extra fuel.
If you know you will be exercising at a high intensity for 30 minutes or longer and you have at a minimum of two hours prior to the workout, EAT! Your body will need the calories to supply the muscles with energy. Examples of meals to prepare your body for this type of workout include complex carbohydrates and protein. My favorites are two egg whites, half of a banana and a half cup of steel cut oats. Another example would be 6oz of fish (salmon is great), a half cup of brown rice or quinoa and a small salad. These foods will give you the energy and power you need to make it through your workout.
Now, I know there are going to be times that you just can’t make a meal happen two hours prior to your workout. I get it. I live in a busy world myself. When this happens, my go to snacks are protein bars full of natural ingredients, a cup of Greek yogurt, a handful of almonds (or a tablespoon of almond butter) with a banana or and an apple. These foods will not take much energy to digest and they will supply you with fast-acting energy. What will be important is your nutrition after your workout. Be sure to eat at least 100 calories of food within 1 hour of your workout or your body will go into a mode not conducive for building muscle or burning fat. Plant based protein snacks are my favorite!
My last tip that I absolutely swear by is an energy shot called Eboost. You can use the powder or the liquid shot around 20 minutes prior to your workout. The ingredients are all natural and the caffeine is from green coffee beans so there is no crash.! I will NOT train without it. If you would like to try it, order it online at www.eboost.com and use the code MARKS35 and you will receive 35% off your total order. Trust me on this one, nothing works better. Now fuel up, get boosted, and hit the gym!