Skip to main content

Ignoring pre-workout nutrition can slow down your metabolism.


The simple answer is no.

Proper pre-exercise nutrition is key to getting the most bang for your workout buck. Going four or more hours with no food and then exercising can potentially decrease your metabolism, which is the last thing you want if you are trying to lose weight or firm up.

Have a question about your workout? Ask the trainer here.

Story continues below advertisement

Figuring out optimal nutrition timing is tricky, though. Both eating too little and eating too much will make a workout unpleasant. I've eaten too little, then tried a training run - only to find I didn't have enough energy and was dangerously light-headed. I've also trained after eating too much and felt sluggish, even nauseous.

Every person's digestive system is different, but in general your body can handle the following:

1) a small snack 20 to 60 minutes before a workout - say, half a banana before a morning workout; or

2) a larger snack one to two hours before your workout - say, an apple and a tablespoon of almond butter in the late afternoon before a 6 p.m. workout.

I often suggest to my evening clients that they save a quarter of their lunch and eat it in the late afternoon. Splitting your lunch into two smaller meals will give you energy for your 6 p.m. workout, but won't add calories to your diet.

Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

Read more Q&As from Kathleen Trotter

Story continues below advertisement

Click here to see Q&As from all of our health experts.

The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at