It’s very important before any workout that you eat something, whether it is a workout in the morning before work or a workout at night before bed. People often skip the pre workout meal due to lack of time or lack of education on what to eat. This week we are going to share with you some ideas on what to eat before working out.

If you are working out before work in the morning try grabbing a whole wheat bagel with some jam. Simple carbs burn quickly, while complex carbs burn a little slower to provide energy. Eating the easy to digest whole grain bagel with jam or some honey combines both types of carbs. This will help fuel your body from start to finish.

Try making yourself a protein shake with added carbs. These pre-made shakes are an easy on the go option, and a good way to get the full benefits of protein while adding carbs to stay energized. According to Skyler Meine, a strength and conditioning specialist, it is recommended that you aim for a 4:1 carb to protein ratio with 10-20 grams of protein. Start with a shake that is either juice or water based. Try to stay away from milk based as this can cause mucous. Try adding oats to banana or other fruit, then add in some carbs.

Oatmeal is a great starter meal when you’re running on empty but can’t eat a meal 1 to 2 hours before exercise. It settles well and provides energy. If you add fruit, this will hit the bloodstream quickly to get you moving. Oatmeal will not sit like a rock in your stomach so it won’t slow you down.

If you are someone that exercises at night, try a meal of brown rice with chicken. You want to avoid rich foods and have a simple dish. Even though it is bland, it will sit well while you are working out and it also provides a good amount of carbs and protein.

Timing is everything. Even the best foods can come back and haunt you during your workout if you do not let it properly digest. It is best to eat 45min to an hour before you start your workout. If you exercise on a full stomach it can make you feel sluggish or worse, can cause stomach cramps. If you can’t wait 45 minutes between a meal and a workout have a small snack. This is better than working out on an empty stomach. For more information, call the Wayne County YMCA at (570)253-2083, or visit us online at