According to Lauren Cadillac (AKA the Feel Good Dietitian), if you don’t have much time before a workout, a piece of fruit can be just what you need. An apple or a banana are light, they digest quickly, and they boost the body with fast energy. A granola bar could also work.
The waiting game
So you ate something. How long should you wait until you can get physical? Cadillac recommends an hour or two but says you should listen to your body for any exceptions. If your stomach feels full, heavy, or sloshing, wait a little longer. After a large meal, a three-hour wait will help you feel even better. A large meal means food with lots of fat and fiber, which take longer to digest and keep us full for longer.
A little snack such as a piece of toast or yogurt is somewhere in between a large meal and a piece of fruit. This means that waiting times are also somewhere in the middle — 30 to 60 minutes. This ballpark number can change depending on the kind of workout you’re going to do. For low-intensity activity (like walking) you don’t have to wait as long as a high-intensity one. For workouts that involve being upside down (yoga, gymnastics, etc.) you might want to wait even longer.
What about morning workouts?
If your workout routine involves early morning sessions, we’re guessing you do most of them on an empty stomach. Cadillac would advise against that. If you don’t eat something before a workout, you might find yourself not performing as well as you could. Plus, skipping breakfast paired with a morning workout can leave you feeling hungrier later on.