Avoid Food before a Workout - dummies

Avoid Food before a Workout

By Kellyann Petrucci, Patrick Flynn

To maximize the benefits of fasting and exercise together, you should eat nothing before a workout. The best way to make this work, of course, is to exercise in the morning hours before your first meal. The best time to work out generally is before noon.

Doing so allows you to break your fast immediately after your workout, which is yet another ideal situation, because the food from that meal will go almost exclusively toward feeding and repairing hungry muscle tissue, rather than shuttling into fat cells.

If you can’t make morning exercise a part of your routine, then at least refrain from eating for at least two to three hours before you work out.

If you’re prone to dizzy spells or anything of that sort while working out, ease yourself into working out in a fully fasted state. Consider doing the following:

  1. Eliminate all sugar from your diet — except the sugars that come naturally from fruits and vegetables.

    Doing so can help to ensure a more stable blood sugar throughout training sessions.

  2. Eat mostly lean proteins and healthy fats before a workout, limiting carbohydrate intake.

  3. After you’re comfortable with the first two steps, start to push your pre-workout meal further and further back.

    Take your time and progress at a comfortable pace.

You can also take branched chain amino acids to provide fuel before and after exercise. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and the branched chain amino acids, which are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are essential amino acids, meaning humans must acquire them through diet, because the human body is unable to produce them on its own.

What’s neat about branched chain amino acids, however, is that they’re metabolized directly in muscle tissue (rather than in the liver where most other amino acids are metabolized), which means they serve as a nearly immediate fuel source for muscle tissue.

They also help to prevent muscle breakdown from intense exercise. Supplementing with branched chain amino acids before and after training may be a useful strategy if you wish to add muscle mass. They’re also a good alternative for people who have sensitivity issues to whey protein because of lactose intolerance or other related issues.