What to eat an hour before a workout so that your muscles work in their optimal state? It has to do with the right proteins and carbohydrates.

Caring for food before, during and after physical exercise is of great importance to improve our training quality and body composition. Therefore, if you exercise you will be interested in this article in which you will learn what to eat an hour before a workout.

What to an hour before a workout?

The convenience or not of eating before training depends a lot on your goal, the time that has passed since your last meal and the composition of it. For example, if the main objective is to lose fat and you can train with enough intensity, the ideal pre-workout meal in most cases is none. On the other hand, if the goal is to gain muscle mass, training on an empty stomach probably won’t bring you much.

If you eat before training, in order to avoid possible gastric and intestinal problems that can reduce performance and compromise sports, the general recommendations are not to eat solid food in the 3-4 hours before exercise .

But this generic recommendation can be very individualized, considering the uniqueness of each person. You can improve performance even with meals 30 minutes or an hour before sports activity.

Pre-workout food consumption aims to:

  • Increase the levels of hepato-musculary glycogen and circulating glucose in the blood – the main energy substrate in a bodybuilding training session.
  • Release amino acids – functional unit of proteins – to the bloodstream for availability during training and thus reduce muscle catabolism.
  • Prevent insulin resistance and inflammation in the post-exercise recovery phase.
  • Optimize post-exercise recovery.

Carbohydrate intake

We must be careful with the type of carbohydrates we eat before training.

The consumption of carbohydrates should be the priority in this meal. In exercise, glycogen stores are so important that if the pre-exercise reserves are low – less than 1g / 100g of muscle – sports performance decreases significantly.

However, one must be careful with the type of carbohydrates they are about to consume. You need to consume a source of carbohydrates that require a long process of digestion, either by:

  • Low glycemic index
  • Presence of lipids
  • Resistant starch
  • High amounts of fiber

Consumption immediately before training

It can produce an unwanted effect on performance.

This is why the most recommended carbohydrate source can be pre-digested-hydrolyzed disaccharides or polysaccharides. For example, we can meet the needs of this intake by consuming 20-30gr of carbohydrates, such as a banana or flour from some hydrolyzed cereal – rice, corn or potato maldodextrin.

But if we consume large amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day, the needs decrease.

Eat protein before training

The aim of the pre-workout protein intake is releasing amino acids into the bloodstream, to increase muscle protein synthesis and prevent degradation. If your pre-workout meal is a main meal, that is, breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner, you can make a proportional protein intake to the total amount you should consume per day. For example, if you eat 100gr of protein a day, spread over those 4 meals, it would be 25gr of protein.

If you want to make an exclusive pre-workout meal, you can enter about 30gr of protein. You can use some whey protein or eat directly a protein food.


It is important to reduce fat before training, since they delay gastric emptying, that is, they slow down digestion. Therefore you should avoid fatty foods or fatty sauces. And if you take the pre-workout intake 30 minutes or an hour before, the fats do not exceed 3-4 g.


There are many supplements you can before training, but the most useful supplement to increase performance is caffeine. To obtain benefits, take 3 to 9 mg / kg of caffeine 60 minutes before the training session. Normally in capsules or powders. You can modulate the dose, since each person has a specific sensitivity to caffeine.

In conclusion

You can eat before training. It is not prohibited nor is it a contraindication. The recommendations are that such food is thought wisely so as not to have a negative impact on exercise.

You must be careful with the carbohydrates you choose, and acquire proteins that help the muscle to work. If you can avoid fats, much better. And if you want to choose a pre-workout supplement, then caffeine is the best option.

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