If you eat nothing before a workout, you may not be able to provide enough energy for your body. That means you will have difficulty in maintaining high-intensity training.

On condition that you are going to gain muscle, it will start catabolized and breaking down the existing muscle tissue, which means that you’re actually going negative and going backward when you’re in the gym.

If you want to lose weight and eat nothing before you exercise, then you may overeating after you finish your workout. In this case, your exercise is meaningless.

When Is the Best Time to Eat Before a Workout

We want to have those nutrients available to be uptake by the muscle. So, eat your diet about two hours before a workout.

Because when you’re about to head into the gym, you want to get the best kind of digestion and the best nutrient absorption that you possibly can. But we don’t want the blood to be in the digestive tract working on digesting food.

We want the blood circulating throughout the bloodstream circulating throughout the body, so you can deliver nutrients. Therefore, it is best to have a meal two hours before the workout, this can maintain a better training state and will not cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

If you don’t have time, it’s also a good choice to supplement your energy with protein powder or a banana. But it is best to reserve half an hour. By the way, the intake of protein powder before exercise can ensure that the body will not lose muscle while consuming fat, which is good for weight loss.

what to eat - banana

Banana

But if you eat only a few minutes before your workout, you will probably have stomach upset. Because your body isn’t absorbing them, it’s busy digesting them.

It also causes more blood flow to the stomach and less blood flow to the muscle and to the heart where you need it the most.

Low GI Foods – Enhance Your Performance

Eating low GI (glycemic index) foods before a workout can not only enhance your performance but also promote fat consumption. They are all very good and recommended foods to eat before exercise.

But what is the glycemic index? And what are low GI foods?

Glycemic index is essentially just a number from 0 to 100 assigned to food, with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100. It represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food.

low and high GI

The glycemic index is broken down on a scale of 1 to 100, and any food from 1 to 55 considered a low glycemic food, anything from 56 to 69 in medium glycemic food and anything from 70 to 100 is a high glycemic food.

Glycemic index of food

Compared to foods with a high glycemic index. Eating low GI two hours before exercise can increase the fat burning rate and improve exercise tolerance during training.

And some experiments also show foods with low GI can improve the fat supply in the human body. In other words, we will consume more fat.

So eating oatmeal before training may improve your athletic performance more than eating white bread. If you often fail to finish training, think carefully about whether the food you eat before training is wrong.

What Are the Good Low GI Foods to Eat Before a Workout

Asparagus

One I want to talk about is asparagus. Asparagus is a starch. People always think that vegetables are vegetables and shouldn’t count towards your carbohydrate count. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

They are still starches, they still have fibers and carbohydrates. But when we look at asparagus, it has a glycemic index of 15, which is astonishingly low and it’s a great food to combine with other foods to bring down that glycemic index of those foods too.

Now the reason it’s so low is that it contains predominantly something that’s called prebiotic fiber, which means that it digests so slow that it’s not even digested until it hits the colon.

People always think that all digestion occurs in the upper GI and the small intestine. Well, not in the case of asparagus. See, asparagus is broken down by lactobacilli – the kind of bacteria that’s in your colon, which means that you’re getting a lot of prebiotic effects that are growing good bacteria as well.

fresh asparagus

Asparagus

If you’re someone that’s ever gotten bloated when you eat asparagus, it’s usually an indicator that has an imbalance in your gut biome. Asparagus is a tremendous litmus test to determine if you have a disrupted biome or not.

Additionally, Asparagus is rich in vitamin B, vitamin A and trace elements such as folic acid, selenium, iron, manganese, and zinc. It has various amino acids necessary for the human body.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a 25 on the glycemic index scale, pretty down low compared to a lot of fruits. Not the lowest but still low enough. What’s really cool about grapefruit is it can convince the liver to utilize fat for fuel instead of storing carbs as fat.

It means that grapefruit knows how to go in the body and tell the liver to do a different job than what it was used to doing. So not only is it a low glycemic fruit but it also ultimately helps you end up burning more fat in the long run and to make matters better.

grapefruit

It’s been shown in studies that grapefruit is as effective as metformin when it comes down to reducing your blood sugar levels.

Metformin is a drug that’s given to diabetics to bring down their blood sugar. Grapefruit literally can bring your blood sugar down like 13% that’s pretty significant, especially if you have diabetes.

Then there is the question. Can I eat fatty food before training? For example, SNICKERS, chocolates, etc. They have high calories and high energy supply.

At the same time, the fat content is still high, resulting in lower GI value…

Don’t Eat High-fat Foods Before a Workout

However, unfortunately, although the GI value of high-fat foods is relatively low, they are not the ideal diet before training. On the one hand, the intake of fat will affect the training level and restrict blood flow into muscles.

More importantly, the intake of fat before fitness will affect the level of growth hormone (GH) production during training. GH can accelerate the decomposition of fat, which is conducive to growth and tissue repair.

And it can also promote protein synthesis, inhibits the utilization of glucose by peripheral tissues, reduces the consumption of glucose, accelerates the decomposition of fat, and transfers the energy source of the body from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism.

In a word, growth hormone plays an important part in building muscle and losing weight.

Therefore, although healthy fat is necessary for human beings, and a reasonable intake of healthy fat has positive significance for weight loss and shaping, we still do not consume fat before a workout.

Conclusion

So in general, eating a low-glycemic index and two hours before exercise can promote exercise performance, increase exercise endurance, and promote decomposition of fat. This is beneficial to both those who want to build muscle and those who want to lose weight.

It’s best to eat within 1-2 hours before a workout. That could provide energy for the rest of our workout without adding a burden on our stomachs.

However, it is not recommended to eat too much fat before exercise, mainly because fat affects the secretion of growth hormone.