Should I Eat Before I Workout? What should I eat before exercising? How long before my workout should I eat?

Although many are under the impression that exercising on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat, Cat Kom and Bethany from Studio SWEAT onDemand are here to tackle the debate and dismantle the myths that have been circulating ever since the first dumbbell was ever lifted.

Every individual body is different, and telling you at what time to eat could be equated to demanding what time you should workout. Although a universal diet and time cannot be enforced, a notion that’s widely encouraged is to workout with at least some amount of fuel in your body in order to maintain enough energy during physical activity. Starving yourself before exercising has been scientifically proven to, in many cases, actually be detrimental to your body and instead of burning fat, you might actually burn precious muscle mass.

I mean you can’t drive a car without any gas, you can’t build a fire without oxygen, and you can’t talk on your phone if the battery is dead, so why would you try to exercise without an energy source? So test some foods out to find the right ones that work for you. Just because you hurled up a banana doesn’t mean an apple or a Greek Yogurt would see the light of day for a second time. Try some things out.

As far as how to time it, well… how much time do you have? Usually eating a pre-workout snack anywhere between one and two hours before their workouts is what Cat and Bethany do, but it can honestly anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours before. You have to test your body out to see what works best. It depends on the intensity of the workout as well. If your workout is in 45 minutes a healthy snack will likely do the trick, like a banana or a piece of toast with almond butter. And if you still have two hours before your workout, don’t be afraid to sit down for a full meal, you might even maximize muscle and build healthy tissues in your body if it’s protein, veggie and healthy carb packed! Just watch the amount of fat, that can cause you to, let’s say… need to run to the bathroom.

By no means are Cat and Bethany suggesting you gorge before a workout… I mean we’ve all experienced horrific cramps and nausea here, but, in order to increase your performance and energy at the gym and in a fitness class, you need the strength to receive payoff from your workout.


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Should I Eat Before I Workout? What should I eat before exercising? How long before my workout should I eat?

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Hi Heather, I too get up in the 4am hour to workout and I always workout on an empty stomach and so does my class. I’ve done tons of research on the topic as well as self studies and the truth is, if you ate dinner the night before, you have plenty of glycogen store in your body to fuel you through an hour workout. Now if you were training for a marathon or something where you will be exercising for 90 min or beyond, I would say you need to have a pre-workout snack or bring some fuel of some sort. However, a 60 min workout you normally will have plenty of glycogen reserves from your last meal. – Mere H

I get up at 445am to workout. What would the recommendation be for early morning workouts? I struggle with food in my stomach. I do drink bcaa during my workouts.