Keep it simple.
On the flip side of that, it is just as bad to have eaten too little before a workout and end up bonking half way through. This is where you really have to know your body. I know that if I go out for a five mile run, I do not have to eat a much to have plenty of energy. However, if I go on a 4-hour bike ride, I'm going to want to eat more so I don't bonk mid-ride. Knowing this may take some time, but that's part of the journey of sport: Learning.
Timing is also extremely important to pre-workout nutrition. I know I cannot eat something than go out for a workout immediately after. I usually have to wait at least 30 minutes (more than that usually) before I can workout. In the mornings, since your body has been fasting all night, it's a bit easier to grab an apple or a LoAdebar and head straight to the pool or the gym. However, after bigger meals, it's usually 2-3 hours before I feel comfortable enough to do a session. My typical rule of thumb, especially before races, is to eat 600-800 calories 2 hours before the event or hard workout. Once again, this is something you will have to dial in and learn for yourself.
Below are Examples of what my pre-workout/race nutrition looks like.
- An apple, banana, or LoAdebar (Sometimes a combo of the items)
- 1-2 glasses of water
- Cup of Coffee
- 1 cup of white rice w/ honey ,chopped almonds, and a banana
- As many cups of coffee as I feel I need. (usually 2-3)
- Sports-drink and water