Here's what to eat before you workout

Jul 8, 2021

 by Marty Skele

You are in for a good one today …. because I’m going to answer one of my MOST ASKED QUESTIONS in this email.


“What should I eat before my workout to get the best results?”


You work hard - and fueling your body the RIGHT way will make sure you maximise all of that work to get the best possible results.


I’m going to break it down into three easy steps:


1. WHEN TO EAT: To get the ultimate results from your workouts, you need to be intentional about your nutrition.

That means eating between 1 to 3 hours before your workout. But that being said … if you get up early in the morning to workout, you probably don’t have that long of a window. If at all possible, eat a small snack 45-60 minutes before your workout.

TIP 1: The shorter the window of time before your workout, the smaller your meal should be to avoid feeling like you have a stomach full of food.

TIP 2: Liquid foods (like a shake or smoothie) also have a faster transit time through your stomach, so they can be a good choice.


Bonus FAQ: What about fasted workouts first thing in the morning?

It’s true, some studies show you can burn more fat if you work out on an empty stomach and studies into whether that translates into actual weight loss show mixed results.

But if your goal is to 1) add muscle or 2) train for peak performance ... eating ahead of time can help you get the most out of your workout.


2. WHAT TO EAT: Generally speaking, a balanced meal or snack with carbs, protein, and a small amount of fat.

Carbs – Your muscles run on glycogen, which is the way your body stores and processes the glucose (sugar) it gets from carbs. When you do shorter or high intensity workouts (think Fran or Assault bike sprint repeats), the glycogen stored in your body is usually enough to fuel your workouts. But if you’re doing long or low-moderate intensity workouts, your stored glycogen can run out.

Protein – Although protein isn't a preferred substrate to fuel your workouts, studies show that eating protein before a workout can boost your:

  • Muscle growth
  • Recovery, and
  • Strength

Fat – Your muscles will also run on fat as a fuel source as it will be the preferred fuel for long and/or low to moderate-intensity exercise. You probably don't want to overdo the fat though as it takes longer to digest and can cause you to feel a little "heavy".


Here are some pre-workout meal/snack ideas for you:

  • ½ banana + ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 apple (or a handful of grapes) + 1 hard-boiled egg
  • Protein shake with organic milk, ½ cup berries, and ½ scoop protein powder 
  • Palm size amount of free-range bacon & 1 pear
  • 1-2 Poached eggs, avo and palm-size roasted sweet potato


3. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: The most important thing is that you find a formula that works for YOU.


This will depend on:

  • Your goals (physical performance vs fat loss, for example),
  • When you work out (morning vs. evening), and
  • Any health issues you might have.


And if you DO have health issues, you definitely want to check with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian for their input and advice!

I hope this helps!


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Make it an amazing day,


Marty Skele

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