When Is The Best Time To Eat Around Exercising? Expert Tips for Optimal Performance

eat around exercise

When is the best time to eat around exercising to maximize your performance and fuel your body effectively? This question is crucial for anyone aiming to enhance their workout results. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ideal eating strategies for both morning and evening workouts, the importance of macronutrients, and how to optimize your exercise routine. For more in-depth insights, check out our full interview with Bariatric Registered Dietitian and Sports Exercise Nutritionist, Kim Tirapelle, at the end of this post.

How to Eat Before Early Morning Workouts

Do you start your day with a workout at 5-6am? It might not be practical to wake up at 3:30am to eat before your morning exercise. Instead, focus on a balanced meal the night before, with an extra 30g of carbohydrates. Pair these carbs with protein to boost your muscle glycogen stores, which are crucial for immediate energy during your workout.

Key Tip: Carbohydrates are your main energy source during exercise. If possible, consume a small carb-rich snack an hour before your workout. Options include Greek yogurt (which offers both carbs and protein) or a G2 sports drink.

Here are a few other ideas for pre-workout snack ideas:

  • 1/2 Banana with Almond Butter: Half of a banana provides quick-digesting carbohydrates, and a small amount of almond butter adds a bit of protein and healthy fat for sustained energy.
  • Oatmeal with Berries: A small bowl of rolled oats oatmeal topped with fresh berries offers complex carbohydrates and fiber, giving you a steady release of energy.
  • Whole Grain Toast with Avocado: One slice of whole grain (or sprouted grain) toast topped with mashed avocado provides carbs and healthy fats, ideal for pre-workout energy.
  • Apple Slices with Peanut Butter: Apple slices paired with peanut butter offer a mix of carbohydrates and protein, making for a satisfying and energy-boosting snack.

How to Eat Around Evening Workouts

If you prefer working out after work or dinner, consider having a lighter dinner to avoid feeling heavy during exercise. For example, consume 2 ounces of chicken with a small serving of vegetables and a whole grain like quinoa or sweet potatoes. Save the rest for a post-workout snack.

For those who work out around 8-9pm, ensure your earlier meals are substantial if you won’t be eating post-exercise. Alternatively, a protein shake (such as Core Power) and ½ a banana can serve as a good post-workout option.

When Is The Best Time To Exercise In The Day?

The best time to exercise depends on your personal schedule and how your body responds. If evening workouts leave you too energized to sleep, consider morning sessions. Conversely, some people find that nighttime exercise helps them sleep better due to increased fatigue. Consistency is key, so choose a time that fits your routine and allows you to exercise regularly.

In Summary

The optimal eating strategy around exercising hinges on your workout timing. Morning exercisers should focus on a carb-rich dinner the night before, while evening athletes should balance their meals to avoid post-workout heaviness. Ultimately, the best time to exercise is when you can do it consistently. Adjust your eating habits to support your preferred workout schedule and enjoy improved performance and results over time.

For more detailed examples and personalized advice, listen to our full interview with Kim Tirapelle, a renowned Bariatric Registered Dietitian and Sports Exercise Nutritionist, below.

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Discover the best time to eat around exercising and boost your performance with  expert tips for morning or evening workouts.

Watch The Full Interview With Kim Tirapelle

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