Should we eat or drink something before exercise? Or is it better to take a meal after exercise?

Tracey J.
I like to eat something about an hour before working out. I find it gives me more energy and I'm able to get that extra rep in. I hydrate before and after as much as I can. I rarely feel hungry right after a work out, but I often eat anyway. I think the most important thing to eat after a work out is whole fruits, veggies or nuts, but I've been known to eat chip, olives or pastries. Whoops! 😊

Alison E.
I prefer to eat after exercise. Eating before exercise gives me craps. However I will eat an apple or a banana for energy before exercise. Anything to boost energy but not weight you down is good to eat before exercise. Save the protein and salad for after exercise.

Victoire O.
If you train in the morning, coffee or green tea can boost your energy if you drink it before exercising (coffee should be black, though). If you‘d like to eat before you exercise your meal should not be too heavy (best would be food that is high in protein and lower in carbs, like e.g. scrambled eggs) and you should eat at least 1,5-3h before you exercise. If you feel very hungry before exercise, stick to something small like a banana or an apple with some nut butter or a similar healthy snack.
Eating after exercising is fine – you‘ll likely be hungry afterwards but, again, stick to protein-rich foods to enhance results and, in general, try to avoid fatty foods before and after exercising!
Hope I could help 🙂

Vanessa U.
I've heard that exercising after a big meal will cause a huge delay in digesting the food because your blood will flow to your muscles instead of your stomach… But I think having a small but rich meal will give you the energy you need for the exercise.

Martha Y.
Depends on you. If you’re super hungry have something small beforehand, and always drink water – dehydration is not good.

I usually just have water and coffee before I work out, and then a larger meal after.

Laila U.
I always eat then three hours later I exercise
Usually I eat at 3 then exercise at 6
If I was feeling hungry after the exercise I drink water and eat a banana or any kind of fruit
And I convince myself that I am fulfilled and that is enough for today
Because I ate a good breakfast and good lunch that can provide me enough power and the only thing I need is hydration

James C.
It's up to you. Do what makes you comfortable. A common practice is to eat some (not too much) 'quick carbs' before exercise, like bananas or white breads. Eat ample carbs and protein after exercise.

Roger Y.
It really depends on you. Not everyone's body type is the same. Same goes for diets. So like me I prefer to eat after I work out to restore muscle and give yourself more energy.

Ruby O.
Eating after exercise works for me, especially in the morning. Eating on a full stomach makes me sluggish. If I am too hungry before exercise, I opt for a banana instead of a full meal.

Ella P.
Drink water. Also, preworkout drink is amazing for getting your motivation when you are dead inside. Skip coffee and tea. I have a 10oz protein shake before working out and then I have another 10oz protein shake with an apple or carrots to replenish my energy and feed my muscles. I also take BCAA drink during and after workout to ease muscle soreness and repair.

Abel Q.
I always drink water before and during exercise in the morning, however I will not eat until after my workout is complete and what I eat and how much is dependent on what my body is telling me. This works for me, my best advice is to find out what works for you.

Diotil Q.
It depends on the exercise for me. If it’s a shirt, intense workout, i’ll Make sure I eat a small snack, like a banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Longer workouts require more fuel, but maybe an hour before workout.

Carol F.
Before exercising, make sure you are hydrated by drinking water, and continue to hydrate during the exercise. I have always heard its better to exercise on an empty stomach because it allows you to burn fat for energy. Always check in with your body, though, so if you do not feel right or are lightheaded while exercising, stop and eat something. If you are trying to gain muscle mass, eat something with a lot of protein after exercise. Otherwise, eat a healthy and well balanced meal afterwards. Hope this helps you! Good luck with your journey!

Jabim S.
Personally, if I exercise in the morning I have breakfast first. In the evening, it depends on how hungry I am: if I am famished I’ll eat banana or a small piece of chocolate. I tend to find supper downgrades my performance. Also, if exercising in the evening I make sure to keep properly hydrated all through the day.
This isn’t medical advice though and your GP is bound to know what’s best.
HTH.

Troy J.
I think it's very important to eat after exercise to help with the reparation of the muscles you work out. However, sometimes I'm hungry before I work out so I eat a little before working out and a little after so I can stay focused during my workout. Working out shouldn't feel like a punishment or a chore, so if your body is telling you to eat before, eat before! But not so much that working out will make you feel sick. I think it's very important to hydrate before, during, and after a workout. Water heals the soul!

Matthew S.
If you need the performance and your exercise is intense, eat before, but wait until you feel comfortable exercising. If you're after fat loss, do your exercise after faking up, in a fasted state. Good luck!

Felix W.
I mean, it's a personal choice. I get really sick if I don't eat something at least within the hour of exercising. But I know of many people that have tried eating before hand and felt worse afterward.

Jonas B.
So, the short answer is that depends on you and your comfort.
In my case, When I was younger, I woke up STARRRRVING in the morning and would feel queasy if I didn’t eat right away. If I tried to exercise without eating I’d get faint!
Now I’m 38 and my health has gone downhill, and if I try to exercise after eating I’ll get heartburn, feel like it’s going to come back up, all kinds of unpleasant.

So what I do now is, I wake up, I have my glass of water, then I’ll have something very light and small. Just a few sips of a nutritional shake. Just to coat the grumbly tummy. Then I do my exercise, then eat.

My suggestion is to try it one way and try it the other way and see which works better. Listen to your body and make modifications as you go if needed.

Thies C.
I think that we can exercise a little in the morning after breakfast but if we want to have a hard exercise we should have a meal 2 hours before that and no eating after exercising cause after exercise our body get more from foods we eat and our results from exercise will decrease.

Chester E.
Take a meal 1 hour and a half or an hour before your exercise and eat a little biscuit or a fruit with a low calorie 1 hour after your exsercise.

Friedrich U.
i usually do my exercise right after i wake up, drink water, make my bed and use the bathroom. i heard it’s best not to eat 2 hours prior to training and then eat smth right after, so i usually have my breakfast after the workout.

Karla B.
Minimal eating/drinking before strenuous exercise. Take small sips and do your best to keep hydrated throughout the day so you dont have to chug while you exercise

Phoebe P.
I think it is good to eat before and maybe a snake after and drinking water in very important before durning and after

Victor F.
Because I digest food very slowly, I eat after a workout. If I eat within two hours prior to exercising, I feel sick and it's not worth it.

Gabrielle E.
It depends on many different things. We have to start from the objective of why you workout. So, let me answer based on the 2 most common situations. No.1 you are trying to lose weight. In this case you are generally trying to lose fat. Weight lifting + cardio is most likely the most efficient and effective way to go, unless you completely hate it and you would rather do some activity like playing a sport or something else to burn those calories. Nevertheless, no matter what way you choose to burn those calories, it would make sense to not eat before exercising because then you help your body to burn glucose and once that’s done you ‘ll start burning fat. Intermittent fasting is highly recommended wether you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle (or even both at the same time). So, in short: if you are trying to lose fat, it makes more sense to exercise on an empty stomach. If you are trying to gain weight, you can eat both and after. You can eat a little bit before to support your workout performance. It’s vital to exceed your limits when you are trying to build muscle and to do that I would suggest you to eat the right type of food that will support you in doing so! Then imagine that you want to both lose fat and gain muscle. So, there are many variations and many best practices and the most important of all you have to carefully experiment with all of those best practices to find what works for you. At the end of the day it’s a pretty individual path, because there are many other aspects like what you like to eat and what kind of exercise do you want to do. Remember that the best workout and nutrition plan is the one that you stick to – as long as it provides some form of results of course. To summarize everything: it depends, but generally if you are trying to lose fat I wouldn’t eat before working out, then I would do some weight lifting and finish the workout with cardio…and if you are trying to gain muscle I would eat something relatively light but still enough to give me the energy boost I need to perform at the gym and eat again after the workout, and not eat for the rest of the day. That’s intermittent fasting advanced level. When you don’t have a 16:8 window (16 hours of fasting with an 8 hours of eating window) but more something like 22:2 or 20:4.

Laura Z.
I had the same question once upon a time! Basically, every body is different, and every body reacts differently to food and exercise. Some people need to eat before a workout, others can’t stand the thought. Ultimately, it’s less about when and more about what you’re eating before and/or after. Try different things until you find something that works for you. By the way, protein shakes are best within 30 minutes after exercising. But honestly, focusing more on eating healthier and better portions and creating that exercise habit should be more your focus than what supplements to drink. You can always add those after!

Oscar U.
I start my morning drinking water before I exercise. I drink during and after. My breakfast gets eaten after my session is complete and I have worked up an appetite.

Antonio Z.
It's good to have something light before to get you through it, especially if you're working out first thing in the morning, and drinking water before, during and after is always good.

Jan Y.
I drink yogurt before exercise. Because I usually go for a run after work before dinner, yogurt makes my stomach more comfortable.

Marie B.
Sorry I don’t have an answer for you. I am going to bet people would recommend exercising first, but I’ve been drinking coffee and eating first because I can’t seem to function otherwise!

Rosa N.
I try not to overeat before exercising, but I do make sure my body is fuelled. Plenty of water before, during and after!

Diovanda Z.
You should drink before and after you exercise. It depends what time of day it is to eat. But it is good to have a little snack before and after if you are hungry.

Jennifer Y.
Eating a large meal before exercise usually ends with a painful stitch, so I always eat after my shower. However, some people can’t exercise on a completely empty stomach without feeling sick or lightheaded. If you prefer to eat before exercise, stick to small snacks such as fruit or nuts and leave the big meals until after

Jimmie J.
I would say that this depends on you, and on what exercises you choose. I personally feel better with a snack before exercise to keep my energy up (and to keep my focus off my hunger) followed by something more substantial afterwards. Eating a protein source soon after exercise helps your body to refuel after a workout!