Have you ever started up your car to go somewhere and realized that your gas tank was on empty and you might not be able to get where you are going? You have many things to accomplish, but you have been so busy to realize that your gas tank is all but empty. At that point you don’t even remember the last time you filled up your vehicle, but now you have to start this trip and you don’t even know if you can make it with the amount of fuel you have left in the tank. Well with a car, at least you have the luxury of knowing exactly how much gas you have. WIth our own bodies it’s not always readily apparent. Sometimes those very things that distract us from filling our vehicle can distract us from filling the body.
Have you ever started a workout on empty? I know that I have, and it’s one of the worst feelings imaginable. This is especially true when you are in the middle of a longer workout and all of the initial energy has worn off. I feel drained and weak, and my performance starts to go down hill immediately. You may ask, “Hey Kirby, my job doesn’t require massive amounts of energy throughout the day, so how do I know I am eating enough food before conducting a workout? The answer is pretty simple, if you are planning your meals before you work out it is a pretty good idea to eat 1.5 hours beforehand. That will allow the food to digest and convert all of those carbohydrates into usable energy immediately and explosively. However, you do not want to wait several hours between your meals and do a CrossFit workout in the evening if you haven’t eaten since the morning. Your daily grind will wear you out and will cause you to burn calories all day without you even knowing it. Before you know it 5:30 rolls around and you are about to start a workout, but you haven’t eaten since 10:00. My friends, I can assure you that you are not prepared to workout at your highest level because you gas tank is running on empty. Ladies and gentlemen, food fuels your metabolism, and working out is supposed to help stimulate that metabolism. If you have no food in your stomach at the beginning of a workout, then the metabolism will not be able to function at its highest capacity.
Waiting so long between meals, and not being fueled before a workout can have the reverse effects on the body. If one does not eat throughout the day, and he or she eats a big meal after the workout, then the body will most likely store that as a long term energy supply in the form of fat because the body knows it will be a long time before it will consume food again. My best advice to you ladies and gentlemen is to eat several times throughout the day. Have a snack every one or two hours to ensure you will have something in your stomach to burn when you workout at the end of the day. Just like the body can go further in a workout than your mind tells you it can, your body is also more hungry throughout the day than your mind says it is. Make sure that next time you are about the start a workout that you don’t do it without fueling up or you just might break down, just like a car running on fumes.
By Kirby Gusso