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How To Optimize Your Fitness With The Right Moves


Let's say you finished eating dinner 20 minutes before a workout. But you suddenly find yourself heaving for air and experiencing cramps. You wonder perhaps working out early morning should be your best chance. But then you remember you woke up hungry and angry the other day, and you didn't find yourself in the right state of mind to make it through the strength training session. 

Finding the right time to exercise or timing eating habits for maximum workout benefits can be a challenging exercise in itself. Let's look at how to give your body the fuel it needs with the correct equation of eating and exercise timings.

What You Need to Know Before Exercising

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An important point to remember regarding how soon you need to eat for working out will depend on the depth of the exercise you will be performing.

For example, if you're looking at a high-intensity exercise regime, you will need to be adequately fueled so that your body can utilize glucose for energy. One of our body's primary sources of fuel is carbohydrate-rich foods. That means, if you are not giving your body what it needs to exert itself optimally in short bursts of time, it may not be able to perform to its best. Besides, it would help if you also had carbs to synthesize the energy during the workout itself. Else, the intensity of your exercise may not be as high as you would have liked it to be if you have not consumed the right amount of carbs to sustain the workout.

How to Plan Your Workout Meals and Snacks

There are many adverse effects associated with exercising on an empty stomach. These include: feeling faint, weak, getting a headache and feeling lightheaded. On the other hand, if you consume too soon or too much before exercise, the digestion process will take away your body and muscles' energy to do the workout.

Ideally, you may want to eat between 1 to 4 hours before your workout. You also need to ensure that you consume enough fluids before your exercise — approximately 16 to 20 ounces of water to help balance fluid loss and improve your recovery time quality and length.

The harder your muscles operate, the more carbs you will need to keep the exercise going optimally. If you're looking to fuel a rigorous exercise regime, experts recommend consuming oatmeal with fruit and low-fat milk or having peanut butter and banana sandwich. If you notice, both these suggestions include adequate protein along with carbohydrates. So while carbohydrates fuel your workout, protein can help rebuild and repair your muscles after the training. 

Besides, protein also contains suitable amino acids that your muscles will need to post the workout. An ideal pre-workout meal must contain complex carbohydrates and a moderate amount of lean protein. It can be a good idea to cut down dietary fats or fiber before working out as they take longer to digest.

On Exercise Timings

Perhaps you're looking at working out early in the morning. In this case, having a pre-workout snack 2-4 hours before the training may not be feasible. What you can do is consume a small, easily digestible snack to give yourself sufficient energy just before you begin exercising. 

You could try a light morning snack such as an apple slice with nut butter, a banana, or berries with Greek yoghurt. You can also choose to have a hard-boiled egg or a handful of almonds before working out, even if it may be only 30 minutes of exercising. Consuming a protein shake can also help.

How soon you need to eat before you work out will also depend on what you are expecting as a desired outcome from the exercise. For instance, some people follow a ketogenic diet or a low-carb diet or go through intermittent fasting to burn more fat and keep their glucose stores low. However, it's important to remember that you may want to try a low-intensity workout to help you feel steady and less tired when fasting.

It's a good idea to listen to your body. If you don't feel good about eating before a workout, you may want to refrain from doing so. But if you are doing the same things and not seeing results, you may want to change it up a bit. You may want to try eating before the workout, having a light snack after the training, changing your exercise schedules and eventually listening to what your body is experiencing and ultimately modifying the strategies to attain your goals.

Quality of Exercise Rather Than Timing

Most people lay greater emphasis on exercising at the right time rather than getting enough exercise. Experts opine that the quality of a workout and one's overall diet are far more superior than its timing. If you've been consistently training at a specific time of day, you can begin to adapt to it. But beware of sacrificing sleep to work out early, as sleep quality is far more important than trying to squeeze an extra exercise schedule.


When setting a time for exercise, look to set your alarm to work for you and not against you. Give yourself plenty of time to be relaxed before you begin working out. If you aresleep deprived, you may not get the best out of your workout. While daily life is hectic, it is more important to make time for things that matter and are worthy such as your overall health and perspective.

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