In Response to Calorie Burning:
Do you burn more calories if you exercise on an empty stomach or after eating a meal?
Posted by dyegirl
It would seem like eating prior to a workout would be counterproductive to burning calories and reaching weight loss goals. However, I recommend having a pre-meal snack and/or small meal to ensure you have optimal energy to have a great workout. For those who do not eat prior to a workout, they tend to run low on energy quickly and will then either not exercise as long or as hard as they initially planned to.
So what do you eat?
Aim for a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal to top off your energy stores. Be sure to include a small amount of protein to help build and repair muscle. Getting that protein may help reduce post-workout muscle soreness. I also recommend a pre-exercise meal/snack that is low in fat and fiber to ensure quick and optimal digestion.
Make sure to eat with plenty of time before your workout to allow for food to digest and to prevent an upset stomach during the workout.
Here is a list of snack/meal ideas...
3-4 hours before exercise:
peanut butter & honey on toast + instant breakfast drink
fruit and yogurt smoothie + low-fat granola
oatmeal with brown sugar and almonds + skim milk + banana
low-fat cottage cheese + apple butter + crackers + fresh grapes
lean hamburger on bun with lettuce & tomato + side salad + yogurt-fruit parfait
turkey & Swiss sandwich + fruit cup + fat-free yogurt
30 - 60 minutes before exercise
sports drink or water
piece of fruit or jam sandwich
sports bar/granola bar
Experiment with foods and beverages to see what you tolerate best pre-workout, and remember to stay hydrated! Dehydration can be detrimental to your workouts.
I hope this answered your question well enough, let me know if you have additional questions.
Alexandra Economy, RD, LD
Winona Hy-Vee Dietitian