Eat around an hour before. That way you’ll have enough fuel to work with and enough time for your body to digest everything.
I tend to have a yoghurt with berries before training, and a black coffee. The yoghurt gives me good fats and a small amount of protein, which is vital in repairing my muscles after exercising. Coffee is also great because it acts as a stimulant and there’s some evidence to suggest that the nutrients it carries are helpful for fat burning. It’s good to eat some protein afterwards: fish, nuts, pulses etc, plus carbs because they contain glycogen – fuel for the body. If you don’t top those levels up afterwards you won’t get your bounce back, and the body won’t have the required energy to burn off fats and repair muscle following your hard work.
All that said, it’s personal. A little trial and error is essential when working out a routine. Eat too close to training and you might feel heavy; too far away and fatigue might set in earlier on. One of the principle reasons we warm up before exercise is to move the blood away from the intestines – where it’s needed for absorbing food and digestion – to the more peripheral ends of the body that can be engaged during exercise. You really don’t want the body to be confused about exercising and eating.
Before exercise you should eat a balanced meal, this should be consumed within a two-hour window before your workout.
Your meal should be a balanced meal consisting of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The size of the portion should be a palmful of protein e.g. fish, soya etc, a handful of complex carbohydrates e.g. veggies, fruit, and a dash of fats e.g. six almonds, half an avocado or teaspoon of olive oil.
This will put your body into the fat burning zone and this is where you perform the best.
Complete the meal with a large glass of water and a pharmaceutical grade vitamin.