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Nutrition for High-Intensity style workouts

Proper nutrition is key in helping you reach your goals. Whether the goal is weight loss or gaining mass, proper fuel is important.

This Blog will give you some insight into what proper fueling looks like before high-intensity training and how timing can affect what you eat.

What to Eat Before High-Intensity Interval Training

For most, the focus should be a healthy mixture of Carbohydrates and Proteins this will help the body perform well, minimize muscle loss, and recover properly.


Carbohydrates tend to get a bad rap, we need them. Carbohydrates are what the body primarily uses for fuel, especially during short, high-intensity workouts.

There are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Ideally the focus should be on fueling the body with complex carbohydrates although it is best to have a mix of complex and simple.

Simple carbs: Fast carbohydrates. These carbs digest and absorb quickly for fast energy. Examples of simple carbs are fruit, fruit juice, and white bread.

Complex Carbs: Slow carbohydrates. These carbs digest and absorb more slowly, so they typically supply sustained energy over a longer period of time. Examples of complex carbs are slow-cooked oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.

You will decide on what type of fueling to use depending on the timing of your training to fueling window. The sooner you workout after fueling the simpler the fueling will be. There are examples further down.


Protein has amino acids which are the building blocks for your muscles require for rebuilding bigger, faster, or stronger muscles. Pre-workout Protein helps ensure that amino acids available in the bloodstream as soon as the workout is over so the muscles can immediately start repairing.

Good sources of protein may include:




Hemp seeds

Protein supplements

When to Eat?

One of the important elements of properly fueling the body for a workout is making sure not to eat too close to the workout. When the body begins exercise, many times the focus the body had on the digestive system shifts to the muscles. This could cause some stomach cramping.

Two or More Hours Before

Everyone is a little different, but the general rule is to eat at least two hours before the workout so your body has the time to digest. Here are a few suggestions for pre-workout meals:

Eggs and whole wheat toast

Oatmeal with raisins and peanut butter

Lean chicken and brown rice

60 Minutes or Less Before

If you have limited time between when you are able to eat and you workout, you may still be able to have a quick meal but it should be smaller in size and contain more simple carbohydrates so they are quickly and easily digested. Try some of the following:

Banana with a little bit of almond butter

Greek yogurt with berries

Protein blended with ice, 1/4 banana and almond milk

10-15 Minutes Before sometimes you only have a small window to eat before a workout. If you only has about 10-15 minutes before the workout, the snack should be very small and easy to digest.

A few jellybeans

A small part of a sports drink

Basing food choices, proper timing of consumption, and amounts aligned with your goals is a very important part of the process.

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