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What/when to eat before strenuous exercise


Target Member
I workout hard but having difficulty in finding something light to eat

I prefer working out on any empty stomach but my exercise is highly demanding and I don't feel good from about half way through my session

I try and eat something small normally just over an hour before I exercise - this is because I get home from work, have a snack and go to my exercise class. I find that I feel 'heavy' and uncomfortable while exercising.
I will have a small ham salad, half sandwich, etc as snack examples

I do strength based training which includes cardio

I ideally want to find something that is small in volume but gives me enough energy to complete my routine

I am at target weight through slimming world.

If anyone can offer any food type advice I would be very appreciative
Ps I hate bananas :)
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Target Member
Thanks for the suggestion, I will look out for some oat cakes, I assume you can buy them ready made?


Target Member
Gettingfit thank you, very helpful x
Darn, no chocolate in the list ;)


Target Member
Bananas are yucky lol
The point of eating them before a workout is for the energy, it will all be used up. Having said that it defeats the point to eat something which is really laden with sugar such as chocolate.
I know that the lady asking the question hates bananas but she said she got to target on slimming world where bananas are a free food. Slimming world think that they are not fattening, I think because of the bulk.


This is for life
I usually have a bit of cheese, ham or chicken. Alternatively pork crackling. But then i dont do carbs so that's a bit different:)
Rhino said:
Banannas all the way!
Completely agree. Might be something to do with the potassium but this is the only thing I can eat before working out that stops me from getting queasy.

Another thing I'd recommend is buying some soya protein powder and making a smoothie with it before you workout. It has been shown to reduce abdominal fat in women in studies if used regularly before exercise compared to its diary counterparts (whey and casein) xx
Before i do a rigerous exercise class i tend to have pasta or a jacket potato. These boost my energy levels and i theyre yummy :)
Nutrient timing is a whole book in itself, but the advice isn't all that different for weight training and short-duration cardio - if you're going to be doing 2+ hours of biking or running you're going to need to load up on energy gels and sports drinks in addition to the standard advice as you'll be burning through your body's glycogen like nobody's business.

You'd want some protein pre-workout as well, for optimal results - the current recommendation for Best Pratice is to have a solid meal 90-120 minutes before your workout, no later. The protein in your food mostly digests in 3 hours, and the whole point of pre-workout nutrition is to have protein available in your system while working out. Therefore, eating more than 2 hours before your workout potentially leaves you without available amino acids in your blood stream at the end of your workout - not good.

Alternatively, you have a liquid meal in the form of a protein shake 0-30 minutes before starting your workout - I personally feel this is the better option based on David Barr's research, but either way will work.

Post-workout, a protein shake with moderately fast-acting whey protein taken within 30 minutes of your workout and containing carbs in a 4:1 carb:protein ratio is supposedly ideal for recovery.

You'd then go on to eat your regularily scheduled meal within 90 minutes of having the protein shake, as whey protein mostly digests that fast.


Target Member
Thanks Paulsen
I have stared at the tubs of protein/shake mixes in the shops, but not really looked into this side of things.
Will have to do a bit of research, as I know my food prior to working out needs to be addressed, and as I have some great muscle definition, anything that will help that cannot be bad :)

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