Should You Eat Before a Workout?

Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

Oh, the age-old question—should you eat before a workout? For those who train in the morning, we’re always debating if we should eat breakfast before heading to the gym. The answer to this question depends on many factors including the type of workout, length of workout, the time of day, the type of food, and the individual.

Type of Workout

More intense workouts may make you cause you to have a sensitive stomach which can lead to nausea and indigestion. To remedy this issue, give yourself more time to digest your food or eat something light before the workout. For less intense workouts that don’t last longer than 30 minutes, you can usually go without eating anything.

Length of Workout

You should definitely eat something before you start workouts that are longer than 60 minutes. What you eat really depends on your body and how you digest food. It may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you.

Time of Day

The best way to provide yourself with energy for a morning workout is to eat something prior. Short workouts on an empty stomach are okay, but you should make sure to eat after you complete exercising. If you want something light before a morning workout, try eating a banana with peanut butter or toast with almond butter. If you can stomach something heavier, eat scrambled eggs, oatmeal with berries, a whole-wheat bagel with cream cheese, or a yogurt. For early afternoon workouts, you may not need to eat something, especially if it’s within an hour or two after you ate lunch. For late afternoon or early evening workouts, you’ll want to eat a snack so you’re not working out on an empty stomach.