eating before workout?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 23, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Ok, so everything I've read says I should eat AFTER working out. From a scheduling perspective, this doesn't always work out so well for me and am wondering if it's a major problem to eat before instead.

My workouts right now mainly consist of playing hockey. I realize it's not a huge strength activity, but it is very much an interval thing. Two minutes of sprinting, two minutes rest, cycle. Tons of leg muscle work.

As a father of two, my schedule is pretty tight. After work I rush home and eat dinner with the family, then on hockey days, I'm off to the ice and skate at 7:30. By the time I'm home again it's 9:30 and not really interested in eating.

What I've been doing is eating more carbs at dinner before I play. Is this a bad idea? Should I avoid the carbs at dinner and have a sweet potato when I get home? Should I delay dinner and eat late at night? Or is what I'm doing ok?

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on April 23, 2012
at 04:42 PM

If I was in your position, I would do the following on hockey days:

I hate working out on a full stomach, so I would go home and eat a small to moderate dinner with the family. Some pre-workout food to help you fuel your workout isn't a bad thing. A decent mix of protein, fats, and carbs are useful. After hockey, I would have some easy to warm up food or something pre-packaged to take advantage of your body's need for post workout nutrition. Perhaps something like microwaveable mashed sweet potatoes and some protein. I find canned sardines or smoked herring to be good sources of convenient protein and they also have omega 3 oils to help with any inflammation.

Unless you are pushing yourself to maximum abilities, you probably have some wiggle room. I do consider post workout nutrition as rather important, since your body is going to need to repair itself for the next go-around.



on April 23, 2012
at 03:49 PM

If you feel good and perform well I don't think it matters either way. As long as you feel strong and in good spirits you're well adapted to what you're doing. If you feel a need to change anything, beef up the meal before/during work so you don't need as much in the meal before your workout.

I agree with you that eating before bed is not appealing although my teenaged grandson does that. For me, it would be a recipe for GERD.

In my case, I never feel like doing anything after I eat even when my dinner is whole, unprocessed foods. I recover faster after a healthy meal though. But my GI tract grabs so much blood to attack my food that the rest of me is in shut down mode. In the fasted state, however, I find it totally natural to work hard.

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