What To Eat Before A HIIT Workout

What To Eat Before A Hiit Workout? Secrets Learn Before You Hit 30

Brian wanted to lose weight. At 25 and weighing over 300 pounds, his doctor told him he was skating on thin ice health-wise. He had to start exercising to cut back on the weight quickly.

therefore, he embarked on his weight loss journey. He would do highly intensive workouts four times a week. Surprisingly, he didn’t lose any weight. The problem was in what he ate before workouts.

What to eat before a hit workout might seem relatively straightforward, but that is beside the point. If the exercises are to help you, you have to ensure your nutrition fits your workouts.

That is what we are going to talk about in this article. Read on to find out how to get the best from your workout plan. But before we get to that,

What is HIIT?

HIIT means high-intensity interval training. It refers to brief but overly intense bursts of workouts followed by equally short recovery periods. A person does them repeatedly over a particular period

Its main aim is to burn calories fast but still have enough recovery time throughout the sets. It can help you burn down calories and cut down on fat for weight loss.

Should Someone Eat Before HIIT?

As we have already told you, HIIT workouts are very intense. They will require you to follow a proper nutrition plan to have enough energy for the entire training.

However, you must remember that your body will take about two to three hours to digest whatever you eat. That means you have to ensure you eat at least two hours before the workout.

Grabbing a banana or eating a few minutes to exercise is virtually futile. That’s because your body won’t have enough time to digest it and provide you with energy.

You will therefore be working out on a full stomach, which isn’t advisable. You probably won’t last long working out on a full stomach since nausea, stitch, or cramps. In the worst-case scenario, you might even throw up.

Therefore, it would be in your best interests to avoid eating not only before HIITs but also other workouts.

However, the best way is to have a main meal about an hour before your pre-workout snack. The pre-workout snack should be an hour before the workout itself.

Whether you are working out to lose weight or gain some muscle, proper nutrition is essential. That makes sure your glycogen levels are sufficient enough for the high energy workouts.

What should You eat before a HIIT workout?

Now that we have established that you need to eat before a HIIT workout, what types of meals should you eat?

A good start is to eat carbohydrates for their energy but includes some proteins as well. The goal is to have a meal that your body can digest faster. Such carbohydrates and proteins shouldn’t take more than 2 hours to digest.

Such meals include some scrambled eggs with rye toast, wholemeal pasta, or wholegrain toast. You can add some peanut butter to the toast.

On the other hand, for a snack, a banana would suffice. You can also slice half a banana on rice cakes or stuff some peanut butter into a date. You can eat this snack 30 minutes to the HIIT or any other workout.

Such snacks have the proper combination of proteins and carbs and will give you the right energy to last the workout.

Remember to give your body some time to digest the snack or main meal before starting the HIIT.

Foods to Avoid Before a Workout

Since you need food to power the workout process, you can’t go about eating any food. Some will take too long to digest and therefore tamper with your workout.

So, what are the foods to avoid when preparing yourself for a workout? Foods with too much fibre are a no go if you are gearing up for a workout session. Such foods take a longer time to get digested and will thus be in the stomach for longer.

It would help if you also gave fizzy drinks a wide berth as a pre-workout snack. That’s because they offer you no nutritional benefits. They usually have large amounts of sugar and carbonic acid that might lead to bloating.

Another type of food to stay away from before a workout is a food with fat. Yes, fats are a vital part of any regular diet. But that doesn’t mean they are perfect for eating before a workout. Such foods include fatty nuts and avocados.

If you are preparing yourself for a workout, you’ll also want to stay away from spicy foods. They might tingle the tastebuds, but when they give you indigestion, you won’t feel the tingle again.

Spicy foods are also responsible for indigestion, which will lead to discomfort as you work out.

Finally, foods like cheese and Greek yogurt are also not right for you before a workout. They have a high-fat content that will make your body feel lethargic and increase stomach acidity.

Stomach acidity will lead to significant discomfort, and you might feel bloated. If you have the best exercise, you need to have little to no pain.

If you can’t eat those foods before a workout, when then can you eat them? After your workout. 

What Foods Can You Eat after HIIT?

What Foods Can You Eat after HIIT workout?

As you already know by now, your body uses up a lot of energy during a HIIT workout. To therefore recover fully, you will need to eat well after the training. Several foods are great for that.


Avocados have outstanding amounts of magnesium that play a significant role in muscle recovery. Since your muscles will have worked overtime from the HIIT, they will need all the magnesium they can get.

That’s not all. Avocado is also rich in folate and anti-inflammatory vitamins C, K, and B6. They can help you reduce the inflammations brought by exercise.

Leafy Vegetables

Vegetables like kale, spinach, watercress, and arugula have many vitamins, fiber, and minerals that help in body recovery after HIIT.

When you work out, you might produce free radicals in your body that might be harmful in the long run. Green vegetables have antioxidants that can reduce the effects of such radicals aiding in recovery.


Proteins are bodybuilding foods, and whole proteins can play a significant role in muscle recovery. They are the one that makes the muscles in the first place, so they’d be great for their healing, right?

Here, protein powder can come in handy since it is so convenient. It will keep you fuller for longer and doesn’t require you to cook it, unlike other protein sources.


Blueberries are sweet and have lots of nutritious fiber and vitamins. They will keep you full for longer and will help reduce the effects of free radicals as they contain antioxidants.


Nothing comes close to the nutritional powerhouse that eggs are. They have lots of proteins and fats. They have all the amino acids that make proteins, making them an excellent option for muscle recovery.

You can consume them with almost anything, and they are straightforward to prepare. A tired you can quickly prepare some scrambled or hardboiled eggs and eat with an avocado

Is it advisable to do HIIT on an empty stomach?

There might be too little an interval between waking up and your body digesting food for people who do their HIIT in the mornings. That begs the question, can someone do HIITs on an empty stomach?

That would depend on your body. For most exercises, it is advisable to do them with something in your belly.

You can do a HIIT on an empty stomach as long as you don’t overdo it. If you overdo it, the chances are that you might not have the energy to do the training to the end.

On the other hand, running will require you to have eaten something in the last three hours before the workout.

The form of diet to support HIIT

HIIT has many energy demands, and as such, you will need to follow a proper nutrition plan. We have discussed several already, but you have to remember that carbohydrates will get you the most energy.

Before the workout, you can eat carbohydrates and proteins in a 3 to 1 ratio to give you enough energy to last the exercise.

When working out, the only thing you need to consume is water. That will prevent thirst from distracting you from the exercise.

After the workout, eggs, avocados, or protein powder will come in handy. Such foods will enhance muscle recovery and have you ready for exercises the following day.

HIIT will need you to consume lots of proteins so that they can help in muscle recovery.

Supplements or Real Food?

You must have heard a lot about supplements and how they can help someone gain weight. But does that mean they can replace real food? No, they can’t.

Yes, they might have a few nutritional benefits, but you won’t find fiber and other nutrients in supplements.

That’s why for a weight gain journey wholly

What is the best interval time for HIIT?

According to research, the typical HIIT should last 30 to 60 minutes, including the breaks. As such, you will need to get a good ratio between workout and resting.

For beginners, a 1:1 ratio would suffice as it would give you proper recovery time before resuming the workout. A 1:1 ratio is 60 seconds each for the recovery and exercise.

However, as you advance, you can improve the ratio to 3:1, which is 1 minute of working out and 3 minutes of rest.

You have to ensure you push very hard in the workout phase to have thoroughly earned your 3-minute rest.

The Perfect Workout and why it is a Myth

We have already spoken about HIIT and the benefits it can have for your weight loss journey. The myth comes in when people think a combination of HIIT and intermittent fasting are the perfect workout.

Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to restricting your diet to limited amounts of calories at certain times of the day. One fast for some time and only eats at a particular time every day.

Many people believe a combination of HIIT with IF to be the perfect workout. That isn’t true. Yes, it might have massive benefits if you desperately need to burn calories and lose weight, but it isn’t the perfect workout.

Final Thoughts

We hope we have answered your question on what to eat before a HIIT workout. If you are thinking of doing it for the first time, then our guide on what to eat and not eat should come in handy.

All the best.

Jimmy Falcon
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