Do You Need to Eat Before Exercising?

Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

If you’ve been working out for a while, you’ve probably thought about if you should eat prior to exercising. This question is especially relevant when working out in the morning on an empty stomach. Some of us swear by getting some much-needed calories in our bodies before hitting the gym, while others prefer to eat after they finish working out. So, should you eat before exercising?

Type of Workout

One reason you may choose not to eat before exercising relates to getting an upset stomach while doing intense workouts. To solve this issue, just give yourself more time to digest your food or eat something light prior to hitting the gym. If you’re completing a less intense workout, that’s under 30 minutes, you may be okay going without eating something first.

Length of Workout

For workouts that are longer than 60 minutes, you should eat something. What you eat depends on how your body digests food and it may take a bit of time to figure out what foods work for you.

Time of Day

We totally understand that eating first thing in the morning doesn’t work for some people, but the best way to fuel your body before exercising it to eat something even if it’s light. Bananas and peanut butter or toast with almond butter are great light options. For more filling options go for scrambled eggs, oatmeal with berries, yogurt, or whole-wheat bagels with cream cheese. For workouts later in the day, if you need to eat something depends on when you last ate. Usually, if you’re working out later in the afternoon, you’ll want to eat something.