Are you a Spin class enthusiast wondering if it’s okay to eat before your workout? I’m a certified personal trainer, and I understand that the question of “Isit okay to eat before a Spin class” is a pretty common one, and it’s also a broad one. So my reply to the Spin class enthusiast is, “Define eat.” Yes, the word “eat” is too ambiguous, so I will cover all scenarios.
Though you are seated throughout most of your Spin class (some instructors have participants occasionally stand up while pedaling), you might feel that it’s okay to eat a whole meal shortly before a Spin class. But this kind of workout can be very strenuous if you’re pedaling fast enough with enough crank tension. I would never recommend a full meal within 90 minutes of a Spin class, any more than I’d recommend this much eating within 90 minutes of a step class, body sculpting workout, running or power lifting.
Save your energy for the Spin class by not eating a lot beforehand. Otherwise, energy reserves will be diverted to food digestion, and this may weigh you down or make you tire more quickly. Or, you may not feel a difference, but your performance won’t be as mighty as it could be.
I recommend waiting a minimum of 105 minutes after eating a full meal before venturing into a Spin class. A full meal might be a chicken breast, baked potato, green salad, whole wheat roll — all in reasonable portions, plus water. If you indulge in more food than necessary, such as two chicken breasts, two helpings of mashed potatoes and gravy, the roll, plus milk and several brownies, then please, wait two and half hours before your Spin class after this kind of eating.
My reasoning is that if you enter the Spin class too soon after eating this much, you won’t have as many energy reserves to go all-out with your spinning.
I’m all in favor of all-out, strenuous exercise. Usually, Spin class enthusiasts go all-out in these classes; they really pump and knock themselves out. I’ve never seen a lackadaisical spinner.
Is it okay to eat nothing before a Spin class? This depends on the person. If you feel fine spinning your heart out on an empty stomach (you have eaten nothing for at least two hours up to three hours), and the last meal you ate was no bigger than maybe a chicken sandwich, or perhaps some oatmeal and a fruit platter, then go for it.
If it’s been over three hours, I recommend some fruit as a backup energy reserve, and also because I don’t approve of going long periods without food, as this can slow metabolism. If you must eat a little something even 30 minutes before a Spin class, to prevent feeling nauseated or lightheaded, then eat that little something, and make it healthful like fruit, nuts, a salad, fig bars, etc., versus a beef patty and fried onion rings, or an actual full meal.