Sports coaches reveal their tips for eating before a workout

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

I actually didn't know what got into me now that I am trying to get into a more active lifestyle.

Weekend chill sessions have been replaced with spin class dates and a night out with the officemates involves boxing classes.

I'm not complaining but I need some help.

Especially when it comes to what I should be eating before these revamped dates.

Energy is a valuable stock in these activities and I don't want to draw them from a large order of burger and fries.

Otherwise, I feel like I'm just cheating myself.

Every exercise and sport is different, however.

So my curious mind asked the experts and trainers a simple but important question: What do you eat to power up?

"Three hours before I workout, I eat carbs and lean meat with high-protein content. Thirty minutes before I workout, I also take a scoop of Isolate Protein Powder."-Dandy Chua, coach, HIT Arena

"When I teach classes past 9 p.m., I'll always have a half a bar of plain dark chocolate to keep my sugar levels up and to keep me going throughout the night. When I work out in the morning, I don't eat anything too heavy. Fruits, a hardboiled egg, and light porridge lets me get the day started sans that feeling of being too full."

- Ella Fortun, instructor, Ride Revolution

"If my workout is in the morning, I usually do not eat heavy. It can be just some eggs and some fruits. But if the workout will be cardio-heavy or it will be a long training day, I take in some carbs as well. If I feel sluggish I drink either coffee or a pre-workout drink. During the workout and even some time after, I mix BCAA, or gels (depending on what's more convenient) to help sustain my energy and improve recovery. I could also have a few bites of chocolate or something sweet to increase my blood sugar and give me more energy."

- Dr. Ian Banzon, triathlete

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"I normally make sure I have a full breakfast. It's usually because we have two to three dives before going back to shore. I bring with me some fruits or chocolate for energy in between dives, which we call surface interval. I also avoid eating a few minutes before the dive, otherwise it can be uncomfortable."

- Bobit Silerio, instructor, Padi Scuba Diving

"For hot yoga, it's more advisable to drink at least two to three liters of water 24 hours before the session. It's advisable also not to eat two to three hours before the session as you want to be as light as you can be. You should make sure the body has absorbed the energy it needs rather than just feeding it before the class. If I really must have a snack, I usually have a fruit or a sandwich, something really light."

- Marivic Merritt, director, Yoga Tree Manila Studio

"For my usual strength and conditioning in the morning, my stomach is usually empty because of my intermittent fasting lifestyle, I lift or train fasted or do my fasted cardio. At night and before heavy jiu jitsu training, I like to keep it light but carb-dominant. Usually, a peanut butter sandwich with bananas or oats, peanut butter, and bananas to make sure that my gas tank is full for those hard rounds of sparring and such."

- Philip Alegre, jiu jitsu competitor

"I usually have two eggs and about 10 almonds, bee pollen, and coffee. Afterwards, I like to have a piece of fruit, like an orange, and Vitamin C. But actually, whatever I like."

Carla Paredes-Gadi, coach, Flyweight Boxing Studio

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