Weekly Wellness: Are you eating enough before your workout?

6 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Weekly Wellness
By: Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach
loading

As a trainer, I find myself reminding my clients how important it is to fuel their bodies for their workouts. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat an entire meal before you hit the gym, but it is important to make sure you eat something. I know that sometimes I hear “I don’t like eating before I work out” or (especially morning workouts), I’ll hear “I don’t like to eat breakfast.”

What you need to keep in mind is: Whether your goal is to build strength, increase endurance, or lose weight, you need to make sure you’re giving your body the fuel it needs. Here are the top signs you're not eating enough before exercising.

1. You're dizzy, lightheaded, or lethargic. If you’re doing a moderate to high intensity workout without properly fueling your body, your blood sugar can drop and leave you feeling dizzy or faint. If you feel lightheaded, you need to stop exercising immediately. A quick carbohydrate or sugar might help (like a piece of fruit or some fruit juice). Dizziness is also a symptom of dehydration, so drink some water too.

(*Even though it’s not as common, keep in mind that there are some health conditions that can make you lightheaded or dizzy during a workout, like heart problems or even asthma. If you feel this way fairly often – even with proper fueling and hydration – you might want to check in with your physician.)

2. You're nauseous. If you're feeling nauseous, this may be more of an indication of dehydration. Think about how much fluid and electrolytes you've had for the day. It could be that you forgot to drink enough water, or maybe you haven’t had enough salt. Being low on electrolytes (like salt) can result in nausea, among other symptoms like muscle cramps and confusion. Sodium is an important electrolyte that's essential for regulating nerve and muscle function in our bodies. When we don't have enough (usually because we've lost it through sweat), our cells can't send signals properly, and we experience symptoms like cramping, dizziness, headaches, and nausea.

3. You're not performing as well as you know you can. If you’re low on fuel, you might feel like your energy is just gone. Poof! If you feel like you’re not working out as hard as you normally do, you might be low on fuel.

4. You're injuring yourself, or even passing out. This is dangerous. If you are under-fueling and not intaking enough calories or carbohydrates, you can run the risk of low blood sugar (which can lead to passing out). When you are not properly fueled, you can put yourself at risk for injury.

5. You're not seeing results. Whatever your goals may be, your ultimate success may be impacted (negatively) if you’re not eating enough. When you don’t eat enough to fuel your body, your body may start using your muscle as fuel. That’s not good. Also, depriving your body of the fuel it needs may actually mess with your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Believe it or not, sometimes increasing calories is what helps people end up losing weight.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • You can either eat a normal-sized meal about 2 – 3 hours before a workout or have a small snack 30 to 60 minutes before.
  • Whatever you eat, make sure to include carbohydrates and protein with some fat and fiber. (If you're eating less than an hour before a workout, limit the amount of fat and fiber you eat because large amounts can slow down digestion and cause stomach cramps or nausea.
  • If you’re opting for a snack, think pretzels and hummus, a banana or slice of toast with some nut butter, or a hard-boiled egg and a slice of toast.
  • Make sure you're hydrated.

Keep in mind that it’s important to make sure you're fueling and hydrating throughout the day so your body can repair, recover, and get stronger from your previous workout.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents will have a chance to learn about - and talk about - climate change Tuesday night.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An on-going rift between two east campus communities has come to a breaking point. Non-resident property owners want... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:29:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told authorities he was hearing "voices" when he wounded two... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:07:41 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 670 motorcycles poured into the Phillips 66 gas station off I-70 as the "Run for the... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 6:05:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new fire station is in store for east Jefferson City, and the city council will review... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:10:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office announced late Monday that a special prosecutor has been selected in... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Checking the phone constantly, surfing Facebook first thing in the morning or right before bed, playing games like... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:58:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The spring season is officially here, and we are just days away from Memorial Day weekend. That means... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:47:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The UM Board of Curators voted Monday to increase tuition by up to 2.1 percent for the 2018-2019... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Students will leave class early on Tuesday as the 2017-2018 Academic Year comes to a close. The... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:28:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a boating crash that left three dead and two injured... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:20:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never impeached a governor, but that could change in 2018. Tuesday, the House of Representatives... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA -Utility workers began surveying land on Clark Lane for a sidewalk project designed to improve community safety. "The... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A House investigatory committee has expanded its membership for a special session to determine whether... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 12:00:47 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ROLLA (AP) — A Missouri University of Science and Technology student has been sentenced to seven years in prison... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 11:40:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri is planning a 400-megawatt wind farm in rural northeast Missouri, creating... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 10:44:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — Authorities say a man's body was found in southeast Missouri and the case appears to... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 8:48:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – With a new terminal on the way, comes more possible changes to Columbia Regional Airport. A public... More >>
2 days ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:55:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 83°
1pm 83°
2pm 85°
3pm 87°
4pm 87°