There are some things that I don’t skimp on, and one of them is Sunday breakfasts with my love. We don’t really have a lot of time together in the mornings during the week, so on the weekends we make sure to really do things together, and that begins with breakfast. Saturday breakfast is usually smaller, but Sunday is normally some form of eggs and bacon.

I don’t necessarily find eggs and bacon to be UNhealthy, since we’re eating them at home and not at Cracker Barrel. But I definitely feel full after eating, and this is generally the only meal during the week when this happens. I only really eat 2 eggs (over easy), 1 piece of GF toast and 2-3 strips of Bauershinken (farmer’s bacon, über healthy compared to most ‘bacons’ available at the store. And it’s local!).

I’m ALREADY wearing my workout clothes, but I know that I can’t work out right now. Or in an hour.

Why? Well, for a few reasons.

For me, personally, I know that if I eat right before working out, I just feel heavier and that generally leads to a slower or lower-intensity workout. Also, even if I just ate, that food won’t be available for me to use as energy for at least a few hours. So it’s really best to just let it sit and digest.

I was thinking about this as I was loading my dishwasher, and decided to see what the experts have to say about eating before a workout. I know that often, a lot of us don’t really know what to eat or when in order to have a good workout, or to be able to work out.

I used to be of the belief that working out on an empty stomach first thing in the mornings helped weight loss. While that is partially true, it also means that instead of running on the energy of a pre-workout power bar or banana, you’re running on the fumes from dinner last night, which has been all but digested by the time you wake up and go to the bathroom. So I wanted to look it up online and see what information I could find.

The results, unlike MOST internet searches, were interesting in their absolute similarity to each other.

The basics which everyone agreed on were these:

ALWAYS eat breakfast. Even if it’s just a green smoothie or a banana right when you wake up, eat something.

If you eat a big meal, wait 3-4 hours before working out. A small meal, 2 hours. A snack, about an hour.

If you’re aiming for weight loss, then eat a small snack beforehand and work out in the morning.

Fats and fibers should be avoided before any workout or event.

Something else that I read and found interesting is what most articles said about your diet during the week. They mentioned that it is ALSO important to eat properly all of the time, in order to help your body with digestion and to push muscle development after workouts.

Here are the articles I read, if you’d like to read through as well!

Mayo Clinic: 5 tips to maximize your workouts

Australian Institute of Sport

Bodyrock TV

About.com Sports medicine

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I usually try to eat something small about 2 hours before going to a class (if I’m hungry), but now I know what to do and plan about my weekend breakfasts. What do YOU eat before you work out, and when?

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About germanymarie

I work hard, and I live hard.

3 responses »

  1. I have a hard time eating as soon as I get up. And that is also about when I go to the gym. I know from running and training for 1/2 marathon, they always said to eat something before a run such as a piece of toast with peanut butter. Now I cannot do this! I have tried it and always feel yucky. I burp, I feel heavy, and it doesn’t seem to help me. I usually listen to my body. I wait until I’m done with my workout! For instance, this morning I went right to the gym did 2 classes and came back home to sausage, pancakes and eggs. I enjoyed it but normally I do not have this as my breakfast.! I will say I had an energy drink with added electrolytes to my early morning workout. And this did not interrupt my workout. I’ve also been trying a Power Protein Shot in the morning and this too seems to work for me.

    I think, that finding that happy medium of what fits your life is the way it should be done! I do not skip breakfast always, but I find that I just cannot eat somedays. So I wait for an early lunch. I’m always doing something different with my diet and usually the same food choices like egg white omelets or spinach salads, but it fits my world and gives me the energy necessary. With 2 kids and me working out and then all the things I have to do around the house, sometimes its hard to put myself first and think about making breakfast or lunch! LOL

  2. germanymarie says:

    I have a hard time eating when I wake up, too. I’m just not hungry until 11 normally! I try to force something, at least a glass of juice, if I’m not hungry on most day, but I agree that a happy medium is best. An early lunch is a great idea I think!

  3. […] to eat breakfast.  I know that we should wait 3-4 hours before exercising based on GM’s post: I just ate breakfast, I guess I have to wait 3-4 hours before working out now… but what about fasting all night and then exercising, is this wrong? Is there any benefit or is it […]

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