What to Eat Before Workout

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Question: I train early in the mornings and wonder if I should train on an empty stomach or eat something? If I eat, what would be the best? After my workout should I be drinking Gatorade to replace electrolytes?
Answer: Obviously, you take your training seriously if you’re getting up before work to start your day with a workout. Morning workouts can be very productive but what you eat prior to training can be an issue. For the really early sessions have a protein drink about 30 minutes before you get in the gym and throw in a banana either in the blender with your mixture or eat it on the way. Another good option if you have a 20 to 30 minute drive to get to the gym is to have a serving of oatmeal or yogurt and protein. If those are not things you like to eat then eat whatever will sit lightly in your stomach.
Be careful if your choose to eat breakfast cereal. They can cause a similar result to not eating at all. Cold breakfast cereals can often can have a detrimental effect by raising your blood sugar too quickly and causing an increase in your insulin levels. This can be a problem when your body begins to place it’s energy orders for glycogen and can’t fill those because of your blood insulin levels are too high. This most often results in nausea and later throwing up. The good news is that after you throw up you feel like training again. The bad news is the throwing up has to occur to feel better quickly. Not eating before training can have a similar result as well but for different reasons and you usually don’t feel better after throwing up.
The foods you eat and how quickly you eat them after you finish training is as important as the food you eat prior to your workout. Thirty to fifty grams of protein is a must within 45 minutes of finishing your workout and a high glycemic index carbohydrate is important as well. Usually a protein shake with maltodextrose will do the trick. Or if you’re more into food and have the time, eggs and toast will fill you up. Gatorade has potential as a post-workout carbohydrate source but it is not a necessity contrary to how their motivating commercials make you think. Too often individuals, especially kids, think that they need an electrolyte replacement drink. Unless you are sweating like a race horse, you don’t need it. Drink water, at least 8 glasses a day, and have it prior to, during and after training. Keep up your workouts and stay well fueled.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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