Food you should eat before a workout

Food you should eat before a workout

Pre workout meals / snacks

As we start to get regular with our exercise regimen, we need to gradually plan snacks/ meals to be consumed before and after exercise

What we eat before the exercise is important since we need to have enough energy to sustain the exercise at the level we intend to achieve. Now one may ask, why eat again while we actually want to mobilize the existing excess food stores. Well, there are 2 caveats to this:

Firstly, it’s not advisable to start exercise on an empty stomach. For example  early in the morning because there is a long gap between the last meal and subsequent one post exercise. Prolonged fasting period slows down the metabolism and we surely don’t want that.

Secondly, the fat stores in the body are put to use much later during endurance exercise (as discussed in the blog on heart rate) . So meanwhile the body uses the glycogen stores which exhaust pretty fast. To ensure that glycogen stores last us through the beginning phase of the exercise we need to eat some carbohydrate containing foods.


What constitutes a substantial exercise ?

Example: Brisk walking for 45 minutes , cycling for 45 mins, jogging for 30 mins, etc also requires that we plan our meals before and after to gain maximum benefits

Pre – workout

When to eat ? – 30-60 mins before exercise

What to eat before exercise ?

Carbohydrates:  The slow release carbohydrates are preferred. These type of carbohydrates are digested slowly and hence release sugars into the circulation gradually during exercise. complex carbohydrates such as ½ bowl sprouts, an apple , 3-4 slices of papaya / pineapple, handful almonds, handful roasted unsalted peanuts , 10 -12 black raisins, 4-5 dried figs / apricots, etc – please note that its any one of these and not all…

Proteins : Without getting into technicalities, we suggest that easy to digest milk products such as curd/yoghurt/ chenna or sprouts are good sources of proteins for pre exercise meals

Caffeine and warm fluids such as tea or coffee should be avoided as they are dehydrating and will lead to faster fatigue

You should also stay well hydrated.

Here are some suggestions for pre-workout fuel:

  • Bowl of boiled sprouts with fruits (e.g. apple, papaya, pear, pineapple)
  • Curd / yogurt with any fruit (as suggested above)
  • Oatmeal with low-fat milk and fruit
  • Handful of nuts and raisins (two parts raisins: one part nuts)
  • Paneer/ chenna with fruits and vegetables
  • Apple with handful of peanuts

Please note that our suggestions are meant for amateurs and normal healthy individuals who are into light exercises. Athletes, marathoners, serious weight trainers, individuals with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases need to follow more stringent and individualized diet regimens in consultation with a dietician and physical fitness trainer.


Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!



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