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What to eat before a workout

What to eat before a workout

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November 29, 2022

 |  AXiO Clinique de médecine sportive

You have seen in the last two months how to take care of your nutrition during and after sport with our two previous articles. So you must suspect that something can also be done before.

First, you should know that eating is not always mandatory just before a workout. In fact, it might become an option if:

  • You haven’t eaten in 3 to 4 hours
  • You are going to do a long workout (more than 60 intense minutes)
  • You lack energy during your workouts
  • You are hungry or you think you are hungry during your training

On the other hand, I often hear people say to me, “I don’t eat before training because I get a stomach ache if I do.” The truth in there is that your discomfort is not due to the fact that you are eating, but rather to what you are eating at the moment. Indeed, some foods can be more difficult to digest during exercise and this usually gets worse when the effort becomes more and more intense.


But what should you eat then? It all depends on how much time you have ahead of you! Here is a small general summary:

  • More than 2 hours before exercise
    • Carbohydrates (60g), proteins (15-30g) and few lipids
      • AKA a balanced and light meal like our Italian wedding meal soup (recipe of the month of December) or our fish fillets with mushrooms sauce (recipe of the month of November)
  • 1 to 2 hours before exercise
    • Carbohydrates (30g), a little protein (8-10g) and still little lipids
      • AKA a balanced, light snack like our No-Bake Protein Bars (recipe of the month for October), light cheese and crackers or soy nuts and fruit
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour before exercise…or just before
    • Carbohydrates (15-30g), low protein, low fat and low fiber
      • AKA a fruit, homemade muffin or bar, dried fruit, gummies or a smoothie

Sache qu’on peut entraîner notre système digestif à devenir meilleur à digérer pendant l’effort, et donc, s’éloigner légèrement de ces règles générales. Par contre, on te conseille de consulter un nutritionniste pour accomplir cette évolution!


Sources: Manuel de nutrition clinique. Athlètes. [Consulted on October 5th 2021].


Related articles:

What to eat during a workout

What to eat after a workout


Joanie Séguin, Dt. P.

Nutristionnist at AXiO Sport Medicine Clinic

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