What and when should I eat before training?

Posted in Nutrition

The Spanish Federation of Sports Medicine (Federación Española de Medicina del Deporte - FEMEDE) advises that eating something before carrying out physical exercise will actually improve performance. In addition, they explain many disadvantages of the popular practice of fasting before exercise. But we should bear in mind that not all foods are appropriate for consumption before exercising.

Take note of these recommendations about eating before exercising:

1. Food should be consumed 2 - 3 hours before the exercise. This food should be low in fat and fibre so as to facilitate the digestive process.

2. Food should have a moderate protein content and high carbohydrate content , such as bread with marmalade or vegetables with pasta, potatoes or rice. That kind of food will help to fill the reserves that our body uses as an energy source during exercise training.

3. Make sure you have adequate hydration before, during and after the exercise to replace lost fluids. A tip: drink 150 - 250 ml of water every 15-20 minutes during the exercise.

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Here are several examples of food recommended before a training session:

Breakfast / afternoon snack:

White bread + boiled ham + yogurt + fruit (peeled)
Fresh cheese with honey + rusk + fruit juice
Skimmed milk with cereals + peeled fruit cocktail + nuts (1 handful)


Potato /pasta/rice + boiled/grilled/ stewed/ creamed vegetables
White meat (Chicken, turkey, rabbit, quail) or white fish (hake, sole, turbot, cod) or 1-2 eggs (boiled /stewed/fried/en papillote)


Skimmed milk yogurt or fruit (peeled) or skimmed dairy drink or dried fruit
White bread to accompany the lunch (1 slice)

*Always use olive oil (for dressing, preparing, cooking)

Correct eating habits are a key component of an optimum training programme. Therefore, if you need more information or personalised advice, contact our Nutrition Specialist or Personal Trainer.

Débora Torrente
Holmes Place Balmes, Spain

Posted in Nutrition