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Yes! Despite popular belief, eating a fruit- or grain-based snack, such as an energy bar, banana, handful of pretzels, or an apple, just 5 minutes before a workout can boost your energy at the end of the session. Research also suggests that eating 15 minutes before you exercise is as effective for boosting your energy as eating an hour before.

Your body can digest food while you exercise. Your muscles get to use the food to enhance your workout, as long as you are exercising at a pace that you can maintain for more than half an hour. Most athletes train at a moderate pace, hence they can benefit from a pre-exercise energy booster. If you’ll be doing a sprint workout, you might want to eat an hour or two pre-exercise, so the food has time to empty from your stomach.

Your best bet is to experiment with different pre-exercise snacks, to determine when you can eat them without causing distress, and which ones settle best and help you perform at your best.


Having a drink of water right before exercise is also a smart idea, even if you will be exercising for less than an hour. Water is also helpful during exercise. Water can turn into sweat In only 10 minutes (in trained athletes). Ingested fluid moves rapidly, so don’t hesitate to keep drinking even towards the end of your workout.


Be wise, fuel well, and enjoy your high energy


Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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