It is a frequently asked question by people who are into every day morning or evening workout that, whether it is wise to have a small meal or portion of breakfast to fuel their body and gear it up for workout session? But there isn’t one single solution or answer to this query because it differs on everyone’s system and the type of workout they are into.
The proper consumption of food and fueling your body accurately could make a lot of difference in your mood and performance during a workout and what you feel post your workout session. After your sweat drenching workout session, what you eat before it, while performing it, and after you are done with the session will also affect the results.
Since there are no universal guidelines as to what should one eat before, during, or after your workout session, you need to understand that everything depends on the amount and hour you put into your fitness activity.
Also, the type of physical activity you are performing matters whether you should eat or not. A high-intensity cardio workout would require you to consume a small portion of your breakfast while going for an early morning fitness routine.
To eat or not to eat before the workout session?
Since the question is confusing for people wondering what they should do about the eating rule before a workout, various experts give various theories based on specific nutritional facts that support better results for your fitness goals.
Experts have mentioned that carbohydrates and protein, which are in a small amount before a workout session, can help the body fuel energy for a rigorous physical fitness session, but at the same time, avoiding fibers and fats is essential since it would cause the feeling of stomach cramps during or after the exercising duration.
Here is what you need to know about the eating rule before your workout.
- If you workout early in the morning for less than an hour, then your exercise is not very rigorous or of high intensity. In this condition, you can skip your breakfast and go for an early morning fitness session. People who are into exercises for losing weight should opt for only a glass of water. Staying empty stomach during the workout gives better results as the body burns the fuel and releases energy for better workout performance.
- If you are one of those fitness-conscious people who cannot work out an empty stomach early in the morning, then you should eat something 15 minutes before your workout period. A glass of fresh fruit juice, a handful of grapes, or a small banana will do the trick. If you opt to go for a workout staying hungry because you read somewhere, there could be consequences for you, such as light-headedness, nauseousness, dizziness, etc.
- If you are working out for more than an hour early in the morning, you probably have a more high-intensity workout, and in this case, you would require your fuel of energy for your best performance. You can keep up a difference of 30 minutes before going to your early morning workout and waking up, which would give you enough time to grab a bite enriched with carbohydrates and protein, and this would fuel your body enough not to let it get exhausted post-workout.
- If you are going for a workout during any other time of the day, you need to keep a difference of 2-3 hours of you already had a meal, but if not, be sure to eat a snack filled with high carbohydrate, protein, and low fat at least half an hour before the workout. In case you had a good, heavy meal during that time, be sure to wait for at least 2 hours before deciding to go for that fitness session.
To eat or not to eat during Workout Session?
This is probably another set of questions, for it is wise to eat during workout sessions will depend on the duration and type of exercise again. As mentioned above in the article, you need to fuel yourself with high carbs and protein before going for a workout if it is longer than an hour, as it would help perform any rigorous levels of fitness.
But it is also essential to know that while performing such strength training such as running a mile, cycling, the cardio workout would require you to fill yourself while achieving your routine. After 60 minutes of fitness performance, it would be helpful if you grab a bite such as a whole-grain toast slice with almond butter or a portion of banana.
Fueling yourself during extended periods of workout would prevent your body from further fatigue and dizziness post-workout. But if you perform an exercise routine that is less than 60 minutes, such as yoga or brisk walking during the early morning, it won’t require you to consume anything in-between workout sessions.
What can you eat post your workout session?
Your body requires recovery after the rigorous amount of physical activity, but if you have been working out for less than an hour, you won’t need to fuel up your body and make its recovery. If you had a good portion of a snack filled with carbohydrates and protein within the few hours of your workout, you wouldn’t need to add up any more additional fuel to your body.
If you have been endurance training or bike riding for more than one hour, you need to regain strength and help your body to recover gradually. It would be best if you ate a snack enriched with enough carbohydrates and protein within an hour of your workout because this is when your body is efficient at using the protein from the food that we consume and help build up muscles.
As part of the recovery snack rule, Everyday Health says that,
Most recovery snacks can be within the 100- to 300-calorie range (more if you haven’t eaten much earlier in the day, and on the lower-calorie end if you’ve eaten more already).
This rule needs to get a bit lower if one is trying to lose weight or is into endurance training. It is better to go high on carbs if you are strength training or into the cardio workout as they require high-intensity energy for workout performance.