[BYWG Blog] Here’s What To Eat Before You Exercise

Last Week we showed you what to eat AFTER exercise. Click Here to see the BYWG Blog Article


While the average exerciser can benefit from nutrient timing (pre- and post-workout meals), most people can meet their workout nutrition needs by eating a healthy, well-balanced meal 1-2 hours before exercise and another within 1-2 hours after exercise.

But let’s dive in a little more though, shall we? 😉


A pre-workout meal is usually eaten 2-3 hours before a workout and includes a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein (a balanced meal). 


So, you can see that if you are eating every few hours, you are likely in that window.


Some people choose to eat closer to their workout. 


If you are eating less than an hour before a hard workout, opting for something liquid, like a shake or smoothie, will allow your body to digest the nutrients more quickly – helping you to avoid getting an upset tummy during your workout. 


If you need a quick burst of energy before a workout, opt for fast-acting carbohydrates (aka simple carbohydrates) because they are easy to digest and supply the body with energy very quickly. Simple carbs are mostly found in refined grain products, some fruits, and some dairy. 


If your stomach tends to feel uneasy when you eat too close to a workout, try having a shake or smoothie (easier to digest) an hour or two before exercise.


Those looking to gain weight or add muscle may opt to eat 2-3 hours before a workout and then include a pre-workout shake 30 minutes before training. 


Here is a simple example of a pre-workout smoothie…


  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of milk, almond milk or coconut milk
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • Optional: honey


What do you typically eat before exercising?