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Pre-Workout Meals

Scheduling exercise in your busy lifestyle can be a challenging affair, and planning meals and snacks around the exercise another. Whether you’re heading to the gym for a cardio or weightlifting session, you need to make sure that you eat the right food in order to maximize your efforts and results. Eating too much food, or too less food before exercise, can hamper your performance or cause indigestion, lethargy, nausea and vomiting. At the same time, if you haven’t eaten food for six hours and try working out, you may feel very weak and unmotivated. The type and time of every meal is important.

Food consumed before exercise is only useful once it has been digested and absorbed. This means you need to time your food intake so that energy becomes available during the exercise period. The time required for digestion depends on the type and quantity of food consumed. Generally, foods higher in fat, protein and fiber tend to take longer to digest than other foods.

Pay more attention to meal timing. Large quantities of foods take longer to digest than smaller quantities. For a morning exercise event, one can eat a hearty, high carbohydrate dinner and bed-time snack the night before and eat a light meal 2 – 3 hours before the competition or workout. For an afternoon event, eat a hearty breakfast and a light carbohydrate-based lunch 2 – 3 hours prior to the exercise. With evening events, eat a hearty breakfast and lunch, then perhaps a light snack 1 – 2 hours prior. In general, you should allow 3 – 4 hours for a large meal to digest, 2 – 3 hours for a smaller meal, 1 – 2 hours for a liquid meal and 0 -1 hour for a small snack. Always eat familiar foods prior to a competition. You need to experiment to find the right timing and amount and make up that best suits your individual needs.

Pre-Event Foods

  • Cereal with milk or yoghurt
  • Muffins or pancakes
  • Fresh or canned fruit
  • Pasta with vegetarian or other low fat sauces
  • Rice dishes with low-fat sauces
  • Sandwiches or rolls with low-fat fillings
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Whole grain toast and peanut butter
  • Apple and low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat yogurt and fruit
  • Egg omelet with fresh vegetables, whole wheat muffin
  • Nuts and an orange
  • Sandwich with either low fat cheese, chicken, boiled egg or peanut butter
  • A bowl of oatmeal with milk
  • Low fat rice pudding
  • Glass of buttermilk and a fruit
  • BN Labs Ultimate Whey Isolate or Vegan Protein


  • Get enough rest
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Consume adequate calories 2 – 4 hours prior to an event
  • Top up your fuel stores
  • Make sure you get enough protein
  • Don’t try any new foods on the day of the event
  • Reduce the size of your food intake as you approach the time of your event
  • Keep fat and fibre low to ease the gastrointestinal tract
  • Include familiar and well tolerated foods

Recommended Supplements:

Power Protein Salted Caramel

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