Best diet plan to boost your workout: From running to yoga, what to eat before exercise

No matter what the reason for losing weight, slimmers will need to look at their diet and exercise plan. Whether you prefer cardio exercise or weight training, personal trainer and TV guru Jessie Pavelka explained what foods you should eat before training to get the best results.


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Speaking to, Jessie explained what you should eat before working out.

He said: “Whether it be running, cycling, yoga, that short and fiery HIIT session, or readying yourself for a weight session at the gym, we’re all guilty of failing to take a second to pause and think about how we’re fuelling our body pre-workout.”

What slimmers eat depends on the type of workout they are about to do and it can make a huge difference to the results.

Factors such as the time of day and type of exercise can change what foods should be eaten.

Jessie explained what dieters should eat before the five most popular workouts in order to get the best results.


Jessie said: “If you’ve got a long training run planned it’s important to consider not just what you eat the morning of the activity, but also the night before.

“Looking at that night before, a dense complex-carb meal including staples such as brown rice or quinoa will do a great job of fuelling the body.

“As slower releasing carbs compared to white rice or pasta, as you transition to the day of, you’ll want to switch to simple sugars such as fruit or honey; ideally anything that will hit your system quickly and sustain energy levels.

“With a banana being a low fibre choice, it will reduce the chance of any unwanted stomach discomfort. Potassium rich, bananas are also great to manage electrolyte levels, supporting strong hydration.”


“With endurance cycles, it’s a similar story to running – for a long bike ride you want to prepare the day before,” he added.

“Be wary of certain fruits, as they can make you feel uncomfortable due to the methane in our system. The differentiator between running and cycling is that you are hunched over, therefore, you need to be more aware of what the gut feels like – you don’t want to put a strain on the gut and the core.

“Similarly, to running, high carbohydrate intake is fundamental before a long bike ride, especially the night before.

“I would advise to eat around one to two hours prior to your ride; a breakfast like porridge or oats accompanied with honey and berries would work well.”


The expert said: “With certain foods there’s a build-up of gasses in the body which can encourage bloating, so it’s important to be mindful of which you might reach for.

“Yoga tends to have a lifestyle attached to it, people seem to be more connected to how their bodies feel, especially in relation to the gut.


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“You don’t want to feel bloated; you want to feel as if the body is fluid and flexible and can move.

“That being said, focus on fruits that support digestion like kiwi, banana, papaya, pineapple or even look at drinking a hot mint, ginger or chamomile tea before your yoga session as well.

“Stay away from dairy, apples, cruciferous vegetables and vegetables containing raffinose like asparagus, brussels sprouts and cabbage as well as carb dense foods like pasta.”

HIIT Training

Jessie explained: “HIIT training is slightly different when it comes to nutrition. If you wake up and want to complete a HIIT session which is no longer than 30 minutes, it can be beneficial to complete the exercise on an empty stomach.

“Previous studies on Tabata (a style of HIIT training) have found that if there is no sugar, no food, and just water in our system pre-activity, following up the exercise with food one hour after the exercise can increase natural growth hormone production in the body.

“If it is over 30 minutes, or in the afternoon, you are going to want to eat prior to the workout. Make sure you have carbs in your system. For example, if you had lunch at noon and interval training at 3pm you can consume simple carbs (baked potatoes, white rice or pasta).

“Protein is also pivotal to help build and repair the muscles you’re breaking down (chicken, tuna, eggs). Of course, don’t neglect hydration as well.”

Weight training

Jessie told “Perhaps most well-known, with any form of weight or resistance training, it is important to consume protein, and this should be considered throughout the day.

“I suggest having something to hand like an easy protein bar or shake, and as always – stay hydrated. Consistent meals with at least 20 to 30 grams of protein on your plate alongside complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice) will stand you in good stead to optimise your workout, driving adaptation.”

Jessie Pavelka has launched a new app and training program that takes you on a journey of incremental change through four elements of health – Eat, Sweat, Think & Connect. To find out more visit

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