Pre-Gym Food


Not sure where to put this. Anyway. Can anyone give me advice on what to eat before the Gym. I work to 5, then I have to pick up my daughter from nursery, bring her home, and put her to bed (which is a very full few hours and its almost impossible to eat while during this time). Shes usually asleep by 6:45 and I leave for the gym at 7. I can have anything major to eat before I leave work, I can have a protein shake and maybe a bar, but nothing dinner-ery. I also can have anything to eat when I get back from the gym as I usually in bed within 30-45mins from coming home from the gym and if I eat anything that close to going to bed, I will suffer all night and get little to no rest.

Should I just have the shake and a bar of something in work, should I have cereal or something quick and carby and light 15-30mins before the gym or just a banana?


hey mate,

you don’t ‘have’ to eat anything if you don’t want to (personal preference), unless you’re more on the ‘serious training’ or athlete side of things, it’s not something to really over-think,

even if you worked out first thing in the morning, you’d still be using glycogen (stored carbohydrate) from the previous day,

however, having a carb heavy (ish) meal 3-5 hours ahead seems to be a solid guideline to make sure your body has had time to breakdown the carb based meal for useable energy (glucose)… defo a consideration for more strenuous exercise/sport etc :slight_smile:


Im not going to have time for a carb heavy meal before…maybe I should beef my lunches up on training days, have a banana before the gym and essentially skip dinner for those days.


This won’t do much for a workout, this is more along the lines of something to do when your blood sugar is low & you’re feeling a bit weak, although in that case, I’d be careful about strenous training if you’re feeling ‘low’


Yeah, I dont want to go the gym with low sugar, I want something with the energy to drive me through the work out of hiit class, while keeping under my cal limit.


If you’re having blood sugar lows often, that’s more of a medical issue to look into mate,

If you’re wanting to ensure you’ve got a good amount of available energy to use for a solid workout, a good carb heavy meal 3-5 hours before will fuel your stores (your body needs time to digest & break the food down so you can use it)


Yeah. I went the dr. after it. he checked and there was nothing wrong. He said it was down to me being in a constant cal deficit and attending crossfit on a day when I have eaten no more than 1000cals (3eggs for breakfast and a high protein low carb lunch). The problem is, is this, is what a typical gym day will look like for me, as I have very little time to eat anything except at lunch


you mean in an entire day?


Yes. My breakfast and lunch comes to around 1000cals. Then on a non gym day I will have dinner, which comes to 800-1000cals, giving me a total 2000cals perday sometimes I might snack on some biltong or chocolate, which is another 100cals. This is were my problems comes in. if I go the gym I don’t have time for dinner, I am going into the gym on 1000cals from breakfast and lunch and that is why I am asking what I can have to eat which is quick and light before the gym


Got you, ok so in terms of energy availabilty when going to the gym, forget calories consumed so far that day… it doesn’t exactly work like that mate,

for example, someone who trains first thing & has had zero calories, is using his stored fuel from the day before (& the residual build up day by day)

the calories you eat on that day won’t have all broken down & be ready to used for your workout, especially in the short term before the workout


is this still the case if you are in a cal deficit, or is this where the weight loss begins


Sorry mate, I’m a bit confused as to what you’re asking?


On gym days why don’t you switch it around have your dinner at lunch, then once you get in from work it could be a quick snack once you get home. You will have time to settle before your work out. I tend the gym at different times of the day so first thing in the morning I have a protein shake before and after. The before one I usually have a small coffee to go with I find the extra caffeine gives me a boost during my work out.


what kind of workouts & frequency are we talking about by the way… context is EVERYTHING