Check out our friends at Spright -- a new online destination committed to making healthy living more personable and actionable. Below, you'll get tips and ideas on how to fuel your next workout but you can discover even more fitness and nutrition hacks at spright.com. And better yet, meet Spright in person at Dare To Bare NYC where editor/renowned fitness instructor, Jackelyn Ho will be teaching not one, but two booty-burning workouts!
Finding the right foods to eat before a workout can be a serious internal battle. How much should you eat before you drop down into push-ups? What is the time cutoff so that you won’t taste your snack halfway through your run? Is there even a right answer?
Short answer: no. Some people like a small treat an hour or two before their workout, while others can still work up a sweat after a big meal. It’s all about preference, but the truth is that your blood will move towards the part of your body that needs it.
If you just ate a large sandwich, your body would prefer that you gave it time to focus its energy on digestion. If you jump directly into a workout instead, then your body will switch gears by providing your muscles oxygen and neglect your stomach’s needs. As you’ve probably experienced, this often results in cramps.
To help you properly fuel for your next sweat sesh, we took it to the Spright team to see what they had to say:
Ursula D., Swimmer and Runner
I've recently started snacking before hitting the gym or heading out on a run. I try not to eat anything too heavy, but still pick things that will give me a quick burst of energy to get me started. This usually involves things like a piece of fruit paired with a handful of nuts.
Molly G., Runner, Crossfitter, Yogi
If it's the morning, I'll have a banana with nut butter. If it's the afternoon I eat a lot of larabars and handfuls of raw nuts. I try to have at least 15 minutes between eating and starting to workout. I'll drink a lot of water — like chug a pint — right before I start a workout.
Minh-Khue B., Functional Training lover
I try to leave an hour between a snack and a workout. For day/evening workouts, I will eat either a Larabar, an apple, a banana, nuts, or turkey slices.
Kimra M., Triathlete
My go-to is peanut butter and an apple, or a half a Picky Bar (and I'll save the other half for after the workout!). For most workouts, I can eat right before — I think eating on the bike leg of triathlons has helped my stomach get stronger! — but if I'm running, I try to leave at least 15 minutes.
Caitlin L., Dancer, Yogi, Runner
I dont like to eat a lot before a workout. In the morning I will usually have a power bar for a harder workout, otherwise I may wait to eat until after. I'll try to eat at least 30-60 minutes before my workout. Nothing’s worse than being sloshy with food on a run.
Danny F., Runner
I'm usually a "don't eat anything before my morning workout" kind-of guy. That being said, I'll sometimes Gu before a long run. Post workout I usually have a Clif Builders bar (chocolate peanut butter) or a protein shake.
Heather C., Runner, Yogi
If it's a weekday run (usually 45-60 minutes), I may snack on a banana or half of a larabar or picky bar. On the weekends, before a long run (>75 minutes), I'll either do a banana with some almond butter, or a bowl of oatmeal + a banana. For the shorter weekday runs I can eat anywhere from 10-30 minutes beforehand and be fine. For the longer runs on the weekend, I eat 30-45 minutes beforehand.