11 Tips on the Right Foods to Eat Before Working Out

People who start their day off with soaked prunes or a bit of raw sauerkraut have been dealing with the topic of their nutrition and digestion for some time. Most of us, however, don’t pay any attention to how our food make its way to our stomach. The main thing is that it leaves a good taste in our mouths.
Yet every child knows that digestion begins in your mouth. The better you chew your food, the easier it is on your stomach and small intestine. And a speedy digestion not only benefits your body, but it makes you feel good too.

Fiber is healthy and helps kick-start a sluggish digestive system. Yet you read all the time that you should eat low-fiber foods before working out because they are easier to digest. A coffee before a run or a quick 3-minute egg before exercising? How long do certain foods actually stay in our stomachs?

  • Coffee, tea, boiled rice → 1 – 2 hours
  • Potatoes, bananas, 3-minute egg → 2 – 3 hours
  • Wholegrain bread, kohlrabi, scrambled eggs → 3 – 4 hours
  • Legumes, beef → 4 – 5 hours
  • Bacon, tuna, mushrooms → 6 – 7 hours
  • Roasted pork knuckle, sardines in oil, cabbage → 7 – 8 hours

How long the food “sits” in your stomach depends on several factors. If you want to avoid putting any unnecessary burden on your digestion before a workout, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Eat slow and chew your food well. The more you chew your food, the less time it spends in your stomach.
  2. The meal should not contain more than 400 calories.
  3. Opt for low-fat food because the fattier the food is, the longer it sits in your stomach.
  4. Avoid eating hot and spicy food.
  5. Plant-based foods are easier to digest than animal-based products.
  6. But be careful! Plant-based foods can also be hard to digest. Beans, cabbage, and mushrooms, for example, are some of the foods that stay longer in your stomach.
  7. Eat foods and drink liquids at body temperature. Foods that are very hot or very cold take longer to digest.
  8. Lie down on your right side. The pylorus (the part of your stomach that connects to the small intestine) is located there and by lying on your side you can help your digestion.
  9. Foods should be relatively easy to digest at least 3 hours before and 2 hours after your workout.
  10. The basic rule before a race: no fried, fatty, gassy or high-fiber foods.
  11. Also, isotonic sports drinks fly right through your stomach.

The best recommendation for a healthy diet is to eat high-fiber foods (as long as they agree with your stomach). However, before a workout or a race, it is a good idea to switch to more easily digestible foods.

What experiences have you had with pre-workout snacks?

Bye for now,


Vera Schwaiger Vera studied dietetics & psychotherapy. She lives her life according to what Einstein once said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." View all posts by Vera Schwaiger