The foods you eat before you exercise and the timing of your
meals or snacks really does matter. You don't want to have a full
stomach when you work out, but you don't want to be hungry either. If
you eat a large meal just before you exercise, you may experience
nausea, feel sluggish or end up with muscle cramps. This happens because
your body needs energy to digest the foods you eat so blood flow
increases to your digestive system, leaving less energy-providing blood
Exercising on an empty stomach isn't good either. Skipping meals
before exercising can cause low blood sugar, which can make you to feel
weak and light-headed. You also need some energy in the form of the
right types of food to properly fuel your work out. Eating a light meal
before exercise may actually increase your fat-burning potential.If you eat a large, protein, fiber and
fat filled meal, wait about four hours to exercise. If you eat a light
meal, you only have to wait about two hours to work out. Your body
prefers to use carbohydrates as fuel, so your pre-workout meal should
include plenty of carbohydrates from bread, pasta, fruits and
vegetables. You don't need to avoid protein and fat, however don't
overdo either of these nutrients if you will be exercising in an hour or
If your timing is off and you feel hungry when it is time to
exercise, pick a small snack like piece of fruit, a sports beverage or
some fruit juice.Eating after exercise is important as
well. Your muscles need the raw materials to recuperate after your work
out. A light meal or snack within 2 hours after exercise is perfect.
This post-work out meal should contain some protein, some complex
carbohydrates and some healthy fats too.
Hydration is important for your health and
exercise will cause a depletion of water when you sweat. Drink a glass
of water an hour or so before your workout and again after your workout.
You can also sip water throughout your workout if you'd like.