Jun 22, 2011

Pre-workout Food

After vacation last week, I'm clearly in need of getting back on the healthy eating wagon! Totally worth it, though : )

I went to boot camp last Friday after we got back, and it was terrible. I woke up late and didn't have time to eat a good breakfast beforehand-just a granola bar in the car. Dear readers: don't be as dumb as me. I bonked hard. Usually the workout is tough. I'm sweating, sometimes a little light headed, and I'm breathing hard struggling to finish the exercises. Friday was just...wrong. Vision going black, sweating yet freezing cold, nauseous. I had to sit with my head b/t my legs for most of it b/c I was so dizzy. I'm super prone to head rushes (orthostatic hypotension: that dizziness, blurry vision that occurs sometimes if you stand up too quickly and your blood pressure falls.) I get these alllllll the time. It felt like that the entire time. Usually he is checking in with us, making sure we are ok and helps get us through the last reps or dig deeper. He looked at me and just said are you ok? Me: blank look, shaking my head. Him: dude. you look awful. go sit down.

 So today's topic is Eating Before Exercise!

Before boot camp I usually eat a piece of bread with some peanut butter, or a banana with yogurt, or something like that. A bit of quick carbs with a little protein. I can't eat too much or I feel like I will throw up. I am not much of a morning person, so I have to make myself eat something. If you exercise late in the day it isn't so much of a concern.

Some people advocate working out on an empty stomach. The theory behind this is that without glucose, your body has to start using fat for fuel. A fun little process called glycolysis. This is an unusual and inefficient process-so usually it slows you down quite a bit. The argument is that if you continually exercise and your body has to go into glycolysis 1) who doesn't want to burn fat? and 2) your body becomes more efficient at it eventually won't slow you down as much. That is also a very quick and dirty explanation of how low carb diets work.

I admit that I don't know enough about this topic and haven't read much research on it. Bad dietitian, bad! Instead I thought I would ask you lovely people.

--Do you workout on an empty stomach if you work out in the morning? Do you think it makes a difference? 

--Do you have a pre-workout snack? What is it? 

--Do you have an opinion on running/working out with a bit of glucose/glycogen depletion?

And as a survey note to my tens of readers: do you read posts like this that are kind of wordy and a tiny bit more educational? I would like this blog to be somewhat informative, but I don't really know how much people want to actually read ; ) So weigh in and tell me!


Anonymous said...

If I work out first thing in the morning I don't usually eat anything beforehand because it just makes me feel sick. Especially if I am running. However, I don't usually do anything as intense as bootcamp...

After work though I'll usually grab a banana or some cottage cheese or Greek yogurt as a snack so my stomach isn't eating itself.

I like educational! I struggle with that too, like should I just throw up a bunch of pictures, or should I actually write interesting stuff? I personally really enjoy reading, so bring it! :)

Megan said...

Sure, I like it. You are good at not being boring :)

I always feel awful if I work out in the morning. If I tried to work out before eating, I think I'd die. I do much better working out in the evening.

Katy @ fitinheels said...

I never know what the right answer is! Unless I'm running a long distance race, I only like to have a banana and maybe a granola bar before working out (assuming it's first thing in the morning). If I eat I usually feel gassy or full during the workout. I was NOT always like this- I remember in university the thought of not eating a meal first thing in the morning was like death, so I don't know if it's a learned thing?
Good for you for getting right back into things after your vay-cay... and yes, much deserved :)

Alison said...

I've read a lot about trying to work out using fat reserves, both in the endurance community (trying to teach your body to tap into those reserves on long runs, i.e. for ultras), and in the bodybuilding community when leaning out for competition. The key is that for it to work, it has to be loooooooow intensity. I've heard below 130bpm. So walking, or very very slow running. Anything higher than (roughly) that (it differs from individual to individual) and your body can't get enough oxygen to convert fat to whatever it converts it to for fuel, and so goes to glycogen instead. If you have no glycogen available, or have exhausted it in the first 10 mins of Bootcamp, then it will convert protein instead (rather than fat). So muscle loss, and smelling of pear drops.

And as you can see by my long and rambling comment, I like wordy educational posts! :-)

Jennifer said...

I workout so much longer and with way more energy on a little carb/pro combo than nothing at all =) I've tried it both ways - i'll stick to my cornbread or PB banana! <3

Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

ashley said...

I don't really eat breakfast (I know, shame on me) because I don't really become hungry until 11am. If I eat any sooner I feel hungry to the point where I feel like I need to eat every hour and if I don't I feel hot but my hands get clammy and my skin feels cold. If I feel that way plus working out, not a good combination,

I like your blogs to be lengthier with info. I can't read your blog while at work, blogspot is blocked. So when I get home to read I like being able to read something that's more than a couple of sentences.

Emily said...

New to your blog, love it so far! I just completed the couch-to-5k plan and have moved on to the bridge-to-10k, and I made the sore mistake of running while hungry on Thursday. My run was awful, my whole body felt like it was made of cement. I typically eat an organic low-fat yogurt and a banana or two hard boiled eggs an hour before I run. Either option seems to be just enough food to power my run.

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