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What, When, Why?

Nutrition Tips From Kellie Dalan

So you are working out, getting in a routine…maybe you found some quick results and now you feel like you’ve hit a wall! Maybe you feel like you’re just ‘spinning your wheels’ and not seeing results anymore. NUTRITION is critical! What should I be eating before my workouts? When should I be eating before my workouts? I hear these questions all the time; however, like everything in life I believe we should learn WHY it matters...what role do macronutrients play in the body? The first step is to learn what is happening to our bodies and why nutrition and timing even matters. There is so much information out there regarding this topic lets try to simplify the confusion!

Good pre-workout nutrition will help you perform at your best and recover faster after each workout. Proper intake will help you maximize your performance but also minimize muscle damage. 

Macronutrient Breakdown


Your muscles use the glucose from carbs to fuel your body. Glycogen is the path for the body to process and store glucose, mainly in the liver and muscles.For short and high intensity workouts, your glycogen stores are your muscles’ main source of energy.For longer exercises, the amount that carbs are used depends on the intensity, type of training, and your overall diet. Your muscles’ glycogen stores are limited. As your stores become depleted, your performance and intensity diminish.


Eating protein prior to exercise has been shown to increase muscles protein synthesis. As well as:Better anabolic response, or muscle growthImproved muscle recoveryIncreased strength and lean body massIncreased muscle performance


Glycogen is used for short and high intensity workouts; fat is the main source of fuel for longer and low to moderate intensity workouts.

Nutritional Timing Breakdown

To maximize the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal 2-3 hours prior to your workout. What is a complete meal? A complete meal contains carbs, protein, and fat. Many times eating a complete meal 2-3 hours before isn’t possible and that’s ok. If you eat 45-60 minutes before your workout, make sure you are choosing foods that are easy to digest and contain mostly carbs and a little protein.

Here is a breakdown of food ideas taken from

Workout Starts within 2-3 hours or more

Sandwich on whole-grain, lean protein and a side saladEgg omelet with whole-grain toast, avocado and a cup of fruitLean protein, brown rice, and roasted veggies

Workout Starts within 2 hours

Protein smoothie with milk, protein powder, banana and berriesWhole grain cereal and milkA cup of oatmeal topped with banana and sliced almondsNatural almond butter and fruit sandwich on whole grain bread

Workout Starts within an hour

Greek yogurt and fruitNutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredientsA piece of fruit, such as a banana, orange or apple

Keep in mind that these are just examples and it’s important to know what works for your body. Supplements and post workout nutrition are also large topics for this platform, but in the spirit of trying to minimize confusion I’m going to keep it simple and just focus on pre-workout nutrition in this article. Please remember that to maximize your performance, you MUST EAT! You also MUST HYDRATE…water will maximize your performance EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! When you are dehydrated, your body cannot perform to its optimal level and it will not recover quickly. Don’t waste your precious time in the gym with poor nutrition and hydration. You can do this, but just like everything you must plan ahead and be deliberate regarding your choices.

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