This is a question we get asked quite often from complete new-starters through to experienced competitors alike.
What you eat before training will depend on what you want to achieve, but if we’re talking about weight loss and – perhaps more importantly – what to eat so you don’t bring it back up over the training area, then read on!
We would recommend two options:
- Something small.
Now, this may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people come to a class, say they feel sick, and then when asked if they’ve eaten something, they reply with something like a ‘big bowl of porridge‘ or ‘fish ‘n’ potatoes‘. We even once got ‘egg and chips‘, as a response once (well, duh!).
We recommend trying to exercise on little or no food, depending on what you’re used to. Having a belly full of porridge sloshing around when you’re doing some jogging or kicking the bags isn’t fun. Neither is burping up oily fish in between punches on the focus mitts.
High intense cardio and a full stomach don’t often mix.
Plus, you’re body will be busily burning off the newly digested food as it’s primary energy source instead of going after the fat stores you want to get rid of.
People sometimes think that you need food for ‘energy’ to last you throughout the class – so they try to eat a substantial meal beforehand.
If you’re worried about this, a simple banana or an apple or some other light, quick and easy snack that has simple sugars in will suffice.
Try to avoid foods that have strong tastes (they will repeat on you when you begin exercising!) and keep the portion sizes low. You have enough stored energy to last you the session, so don’t worry! In fact, we have enough adipose tissue (that’s fat stored in our body) to complete a few ultra-marathons!
Eating for optimum sports performance is another issue that we won’t go into, but your body is capable of lasting a 45 min – 2 hours training session without lots of food beforehand.
So our advice? Begin with a piece of fruit or two, and monitor from there. You can tinker with levels as you go.
Whatever you do, don’t eat egg and chips.