Seth Ruhling's Pre-Workout

January 4th, 2016
How to NUTRITION for a workout.
By Seth Ruhling 

Keep it simple. 

Nutrition can often be one of the most complicated things to get right before a workout.  Whether it is a morning run or an afternoon gym session, nutrition is vital to the performance of each workout.  

Keep it simple.  When thinking about eating before a workout, the first thing I want to avoid is foods that are hard to digest.  Pre-workout, I try eat something with simple carbs and fats. By eating simple, I notice I'm less likely to have stomach issues during the workout.  Furthermore, I try not to overeat.  Nothing is worse than going into a run or a swim with a food baby in your stomach.

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.

 Pre-workout meal:

  • An apple, banana, or LoAdebar  (Sometimes a combo of the items)
  • 1-2 glasses of water
  • Cup of Coffee
Pre-Race (2-3 hour races): 
      *This is eaten 2 hours prior to the event.
  • 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

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