Consuming the correct amount of food before and after a workout is not rocket science. The fact is that exercising on an empty stomach will have a negative impact on your training session, but what and how much to eat prior to aerobic and anaerobic activities is a complex issue.
If you don’t want to feel your body crash, feed it the right nutrients at the right time, Lara Felton, leading RDN and head of the dietary team at mobile nutrition app ShopWell, says. Lack of fuel means lack of energy, which leads to poor quality performance and increased risk of injuries.
You need sugar (carbs) to exert energy so you can actually train well. Eating a nutritious snack before hitting the gym is a great idea. That quick meal should include carbs and protein which means berries, yogurt, banana, almond butter, etc.
Stay away from fats at least two hours before working out because they take a long time to digest, Felton adds. Shun away from fried foods and pizza. Some fats, like avocado or peanut butter and toast, are acceptable.
Don’t risk breaking down muscle, unnecessarily stressing your body, and “undoing all the hard work you just did,” Felton says. Don’t fall for the myth that you need more protein than carbs for muscles. Most of the energy used during endurance activity comes from carbs, she adds.