Anyone eat before a workout?

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Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 34

Posted: 09 Mar 2011, 06:00
Today, at 5am, I did a bootcamp workout. I'll be doing this MWF through March.

Midway through, at our water break, the instructor asked me if I had eaten. I told her that I barely had time to wake up much less eat. She gave me 2 discs (sugar I guess, i don't even know) and told me that I needed to eat something before class or I would vomit. Well, I felt fine before but after eating the disc is when I felt nauseous. (I didn't eat the 2nd one) I've never eaten before I've worked out and am not sure if I should start. I've always thought you burn more fat if you don't eat prior to working out.

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 208

Posted: 09 Mar 2011, 06:12
On a sports nutrition podcast, I heard it is a great way to burn fat, if you wake up and workout before eating. But, they also said that the workout should be light and a few times a week.

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Posts: 112

Posted: 09 Mar 2011, 06:14
I know after a workout,it is recommended to eat some protein.I have read different views on what to eat prior to a workout,also depending on the intensity of the workout.My logic what think that you would need something in the system for fuel and wait atleast a hour and get atleast 16-24 0z of water in you leading up to a workout,so you are hydrated in advance.I was wondering about the adkins daybreak bars,would they be ok before a workout and then some protein after? Curious what others have to add to this.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

Posted: 09 Mar 2011, 06:22
I assume you do bootcamp with several other people. Did your instructor single you out because you aren't able to put 100% into your workout?
As far as feeling sick during or after, some folks just are, regardless if they eat or not. In fact, some don't feel like they have worked hard enough until they vomit. I am not a "eat as soon as I wake up" kind of person. If you find that your energy is flagging, then I suggest some nuts as soon as you get up. Nuts are portable, so you can consume them anywhere. They pack a punch, so you don't need to eat alot of them.
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Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 34

Posted: 09 Mar 2011, 06:45
@mammasix - This was my first day. I was able to stay in form on most everything. Two of the exercises were new to me so it took one round to get the hang of it. She kept saying "great job. good form. excellent" so I don't think she thought I was lacking. Not sure how I compared to the others though because I wasn't watching them. Hmm. I'll just go by how I feel when I wake up. If I'm hungry, I like your advice about nuts.

@tweey I took water with me but I always always always forget about hydration prior to exercise. Thanks for the reminder! I may have to add an alarm to my cell as a prompt to get me to drink.

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 335

Posted: 09 Mar 2011, 08:14
think of your body like a car, you wouldnt try to drive 200 miles without gas in the tank would you? I eat about 30 minutes or so before a work out, nothing huge, just a spoonful of peanut butter, a hard boiled egg, a piece of string cheese, or even a small peice of chicken or turkey - something to give me some protein.

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 504

Posted: 09 Mar 2011, 08:21
Those sound like glucose tablets to me, and, whether I'm working out or not, they make me feel nauseauted. It's too much glucose at once (they're really designed for diabetics whose blood sugar is low). I agree with Rnbwgrl, try some protein before, but not too much. If I eat too much before a vigorous workout, I feel pukey. But certainly if during the workout you feel shaky, or dizzy, or confused, your blood sugar is too low.

BTW: I don't know that I would be swallowing anything I couldn't readily identify given to me by anyone I don't know well. Not that your instructor would give you something dangerous, but it might be something well off the beaten track of your goals.
"The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter, either side of the hill" The Grateful Dead

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 8

Posted: 25 Mar 2011, 07:22
I'm a trainer. I run "bootcamps". That trainer had no business giving you glucose unless you had indicated a pre-existing health condition (usually diabetes or pre-diabetes) AND you exhibited outward symptoms of low blood sugar.

Vomiting can be a result of low blood sugar but for some people the lactic acid created during the workout has the same effect.

Yes, you absolutely should eat prior to intense exercise and any sort of resistance training, or long duration low intensity exercise (cardio).

That said, it can be hard to get the food in that early. When exercising less than 2 hours before a meal I recommend at minimum fruit or no sugar added fruit juice and a serving of dairy - yogurt, cottage cheese, even just milk. You want to keep this meal low fat because fat (and fiber) will slow digestion. The point of eating is to fuel your workout. If you slow digestion that energy won't be available.

So, at the very least fruit or juice to get your blood sugar up with NATURAL low GI sugars. Probably the best thing would be a small protein powder or yogurt smoothie with fruit. Liquids tend to digest faster than solids.

Resistance exercise will lower blood sugar. Due to the higher than normal insulin spike you get when blood sugar goes from low (overnight "fast" & exercise induced) to high (after a meal) hormonally speaking you set yourself up to be a fat storing machine at your next meal. This is just one of the reasons it's a good idea to eat before exercise. LOL and to eat breakfast everyday for that matter!

When you get down to the last 10lbs or so you can consider doing low to moderate intensity exercise on an empty stomach. For now, as long as your in a caloric deficit, fasted exercise isn't going to make a difference on the scale. Fasted or not, the first several minutes of cardiovascular exercise will be fueled primarily by stored carbohydrate - aka blood sugar. If there's not enough you'll burn muscle for fuel before fat burn kicks in. Less muscle means you burn less calories at rest AND during exercise.

Joined: Feb 11
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Posted: 25 Mar 2011, 09:51
I am the same way and CANNOT eat before exercise or I will vomit! You know your body better than anyone else....

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Posted: 25 Mar 2011, 11:33
Sallyally I am the same way. If I eat anything before I workout, I end up getting sick in the middle of it.

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Posted: 25 Mar 2011, 11:37
I've recently tried to start eating something small in the morning because I've been running a few days a week and burning more calories than the strength training workout I've been doing. I've found that a half of a banana is doable for me without giving me cramps or any of the other issues I've had in the past. My advice is to start small and see what you can handle.
- Natalie
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Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 418

Posted: 25 Mar 2011, 11:38
I drink a vegetable/fruit juice before working out. good energy without the high gi and hasnt made me sick.
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Posted: 30 Mar 2011, 13:12
I have been doing bootcamp workouts 3-4 days a week after work. I usually have a clif bar about an hour before the workout. It is a nice blend of protein and carbs for energy to get through the workout. I really do notice my performance lags when I miss my snack. Immediately after the workout I re-fuel with chocolate milk, made with 1 cup of 1% Milk and a tablespoon of chocolate syrup or sometimes a myoplex light protein shake.

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Posted: 30 Mar 2011, 16:43
I have a handful of macadamia nuts (which is probably only about 4 or 5). Works for me. Macadamia nuts seem to be like little energy bombs for me. Mind you, I am only doing a warm up and then resistance training in the mornng so it's probably easier than a bootcamp.

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Posted: 30 Mar 2011, 17:16
Nancy C.

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Posted: 30 Mar 2011, 18:11
I think everyone has to determine what is the timeline they can eat before a workout. I try not to eat at least 2 hrs before a workout. This gives me enough time to digest the food and not get cramps. When I do hot yoga I have to not eat 3 hrs before class or I get very quizy and light headed. If I do workout in the morning, then it's no more than a couple of bites.

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Posted: 31 Mar 2011, 05:41
I always thought it's better to eat after a workout to burn fat during & repair/build muscle after. Although eating before a workout will give you stamina to work harder & longer. As far as I'm aware muscle breakdown happens anyway & is just part of weight loss. The way to minimise this is to eat a low carb (being in ketosis is known to preserve muscle mass) diet & make sure you get protein within an hour of exercising.
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Joined: Apr 10
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Posted: 01 Apr 2011, 13:42
Yes, atleast 1 cup of oatmeal in the morning about 30 minutes before working out. I used to not eat before my morning workouts and I could tell during certain routines that I was weaker or unable to sustain the full routine from the previous week. Eating something high in carbs before your workout will do wonders for you, imo. The hardest part for me was getting used to eating something at 5:30am. Good Luck!

Joined: Mar 11
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Posted: 01 Apr 2011, 23:57
Working nights, I get up and immediately go to the gym before going back to work. Like many I find I must eat SOMETHING in the 15 minutes it takes me to pull on my sneaks and get to the gym. I find that a cup of coffe and 1/2 cup of lowfat yogurt are great to get me the spark I need to not look like death while walking into the Y. =)
After my workout I try to have a protien booster of some sort. My hubby swears his recovery is faster when he has a protien shake after a workout. I know it helps my energy levels for the rest of the night at work. I also know that before starting a gym routine I would regularly skip breakfast. Once my body got used to a routine including the gym and mindful caloric intake, my metabolism changed and now I wake up ready for a snack everyday.
That said, it will get easier and you'll figure out if a snack is needed before your workout. If you find you need a little kick during your workout add a little bit of all natural apple juice to your water bottle. Just a little though!

Joined: Oct 10
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Posted: 05 Apr 2011, 16:03
Everybody is different. I cant eat before a workout in the morning but when I workout in the afternoon I can eat about 2-3 hours before I workout. But eating to close to a workout would make me vomit, it has happend before. Just do what your body tells you to do.
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