One of our athletes asked a great question during her training session this morning. After she asked, it occurred to me that I have been asked this question many times recently.

“What should I eat before working out?”

The answer, just like to many questions, is:

It Depends

A few important factors to consider are:

  • What time during the day do you train?
  • How much energy do you have during your training session?
  • What do the rest of your nutrition habits look like?
  • Is there anything that just doesn’t sit well in your belly during a workout?

Some people can eat a banana prior to training and it gives them the energy that they need. For others, a banana won’t sit very well. The same can be said for dairy (yogurt, milk, etc.) Others are perfectly fine training on an empty stomach. It really is all about what you like and self-experimentation. A few options are:

  1. Greek Yogurt with oats and berries
  2. Scoop of Whey with water or juice
  3. A couple eggs with veggies
  4. Fruit Smoothie
  5. A High Quality Snack bar (like a Quest bar)

If you are a person who likes to look at what you eat in terms of macronutrients, focus on eating some high quality protein (eggs, yogurt, whey, chicken, beef, BACON!) and carbs (oats, fruit, veggies.)

Just as important is when you eat what you eat. If you are an early morning trainee eating something light 45 minutes prior to training might be perfect. If you are a mid-day or evening trainee then eating a larger meal a few hours prior to training might be the way to go.

One wicked nifty idea I tried for the first time this morning is Over-night Oats. This is now my new favorite thing! Here is what I tried:

  • ½ cup of steel cut oats
  • 3 table spoons of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 hand full of raw cacao nibs
  • Freeze dried strawberries
  • Cinnamon

There is no cooking involved, which means, there is no water boiling up and making a mess of my stovetop!!

I put it all into a container last night and put it in the refrigerator. This morning I took it out and ate it. It was wicked good! This option is great for anyone who has limited time in the morning but wants a good, high quality start to his or her day. The cool thing is, you are limited to your own creativity with this concoction. I’m looking forward to pumpkin season so I can try this with pumpkin.