Should You Eat Before A Workout?

Woman eating before a workout

Written by Brianna Diogostine

Brianna Diogostine or also known as Brie by her friends and family is a contributing author, social media manager, and brand photographer at Dr. J's Natural. In school, she studied Public Relations at the California State University - Long Beach and has worked for cannabis nonprofits. In her free time, Brianna likes to hit the beach, challenge her photography skills, try new restaurants with friends, and root for her favorite sports teams

July 20, 2022

When we workout our bodies requires a healthy source of fuel, however, there is no question that post-workout meals are a must to refuel and recover the body. But there is an ongoing debate on whether to eat or not to eat pre-workout. There is plenty of advice on both sides that demonstrates the benefits.

Skipping the Workout Fuel

It is said that not eating before a workout can help to burn more fat and help to reach goals faster. The downside is if you are working out for longer than 45 minutes you may feel sluggish and the hunger pains will slow you down. It is better to skip eating for a short workout session. For longer workouts, you might hit a wall or get fatigued cause there is not enough energy to get you through it. In the athletic community, it is referred to as ‘banking’ and happens when your blood sugar is low.

Fueling before a Workout

Eating before helps to enhance your workouts as well as prolong sessions and add to the energy you need to get through it. It is recommended to eat a small meal or snack for a workout that is 45-60 minutes. Longer workout sessions that exceed an hour require a meal beforehand. The best way to fuel your body is with foods that are high in carbohydrates which give instant energy and digest easily. For best results, try a nutritional superfood powder mixed with spring water or added to your favorite low-fat plain yogurt (like DrJsNatural Simple Green Smoothie) within 30 to 60 minutes before any moderate or high-intensity workout.

When to Eat if you Workout

If you do decide to fuel up your body it is a good idea to do it with enough time for it to digest properly. A heavy meal right before a workout is not ideal but eating 2 to 1 and a half hours before should be relatively small and high in carbohydrates. The exception for a full meal is if it’s 3 hours or more with a little snack and if you are working out for longer than an hour.


The bottom line is whatever you think is best for your body and workout. Just make sure to eat after a workout so the body can regain the nutrients it lost during the workout, the right foods can also help you build muscle too. To eat before a workout or not there really is no harm in either decision. But long strenuous workouts do require some kind of sustenance to prevent yourself from passing out. Safety & health, and knowing your limits are key to keep in mind while moving your body.

Foods to eat when working out