7 Weeks to Go!

Nutrition Tips Series
Developed by Lisa Lovejoy, Sports & Wellness Dietitian


To use an old, but effective analogy – just as your car won’t run effectively without fuel, neither will your body!  It is important to provide some energy to your working muscles, especially during exercise.  Glucose (a simple sugar) your body’s primary source of energy and the only form of energy your brain can use.  It circulates in your blood and can be stored in your muscles and liver in the form of glycogen.

It is important to begin your workouts with a “full tank” in order to feel and perform your best.  This will help insure that you can maintain an appropriate blood sugar level during exercise.  Failing to do so can result in an early drop in blood sugar during your workout, leading to fatigue and decreased performance.

Your training diet should provide adequate amounts of calories, carbohydrate, and protein.  Be sure to allow enough time for your pre-exercise meal to digest before beginning your workout.  The general rule for timing of meals before exercise is:

Large meal

Allow 3-4 hours to digest

Smaller meal

Allow 2-3 hours to digest

Liquid meal replacement

Allow 1-2 hours to digest

Small snack

Can digest in less than an hour

While this chart provides you with a general idea of when to eat prior to a workout, every athlete is different.  Experiment with different meals and their timing well in advance of a race or competition to determine what works best for you.