When you are trying to stay fit, there is a balance between diet and exercise. Timing is everything. Here are some considerations for what and when you should eat before a workout.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that you eat a large meal at least 3 to 4 hours before you do a workout. If you eat a small meal, make it 2 to 3 hours. If you get hungry before your workout, have a light snack. Then once you are done with your workout, you can eat a meal right after.
The benefits to eating this early are that you will not get stomach cramps while you are working out. Eating immediately before a workout could cause cramps, and cause you to feel heavy or tired which will make your workout less effective. You should never skip a meal before exercise either or else you could become lightheaded.
Healthy carbs are the way to go when you are preparing for exercise. Try eating whole-grain cereals, pastas, or breads. Also add veggies into the mix. Try to avoid sugary foods or foods that are high in fiber as this could cause gas and cramps. Sugary foods could cause you to get diarrhea after your workout.
Despite what everyone thinks, protein and fat are not the best pre-workout foods. The fat will weigh you down and could cause a disruption in digestion, causing stomach pains. It is more important to get the healthy carbs in.
Molly Kimball, a sports nutritionist, suggests that you make a schedule for times to eat meals and work out. Some people do not develop stomach cramps if they workout close to their meal. Try it little by little to see what works best for you.