What you eat before a workout is heavily dependent on your goals, as well as your training style. A powerlifter will not eat the same thing as a marathon runner which will not eat the same thing as a crossfit athlete. Although there are some variables that come into play, there are some pretty good general guidelines about what anyone could be eating in order to achieve their goals.
In order to lose weight, I personally recommend not eating anything more than a protein shake prior to the workout. If possible, training fasted is the way to go in my opinion, and there are some studies out there showing a slightly higher usage of fat when working out in a fasted state. I do recommend coffee preworkout when trying to lose weight, especially if running.
Drink 1 cup of coffee with 1 tbsp of coconut oil thrown in. Coffee and coconut oil boost the metabolism and allows your body to use more calories, while still powering you through a strong workout.
If pure weight gain is the only goal, it is difficult to go wrong with anything preworkout. If strength, performance, and excess fat storage is something you worry about, then it is important to have a generally healthy preworkout meal. For me this generally includes:
- 8 oz sweet potatoes
- 10 oz egg whites
- 3/4 cup of mixed berries
Take the berries, heat them in the microwave and put them on top of the egg whites for a dessert like high protein preworkout meal. Eat this meal about an hour to hour and a half prior to your workout for best results. The idea is to get a quality complex carbohydrate, a good protein, and some simple sugars to get the energy levels elevated so the workout does not fade.
Do not skimp on the preworkout meals.
Success is voluntary.