New Study Reveals The EXACT Time to Eat Before a Workout (and When to Avoid It)

Optimizing your pre-workout meal timing can significantly impact your performance and endurance. 

Recent research from Supersapiens, a company specializing in continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), offers new insights into how timing your meals can help avoid rebound hypoglycemia—a common issue for endurance athletes.

Understanding Rebound Hypoglycemia

Rebound hypoglycemia, also known as reactive hypoglycemia, occurs when blood sugar levels drop significantly during exercise, causing dizziness, light-headedness, and weakness. 

This happens when insulin spikes, typically after consuming high-carb foods, just as your muscles begin to demand more glucose.

Role of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)

CGMs were initially developed for managing diabetes but are now being used by healthy athletes to track real-time glucose levels. 

These devices offer valuable insights into how glucose fluctuates during different activities, helping athletes better understand and optimize their fueling strategies.

Key Findings from Supersapiens’ Study

Supersapiens, in collaboration with the University of Trento, analyzed nearly 49,000 events from 6,700 users. 

The study focused on the timing of pre-workout meals and subsequent glucose levels. It revealed that about 15% of athletes are prone to rebound hypoglycemia, which typically occurs when eating 30 to 90 minutes before exercise.

Optimal Meal Timing

To avoid rebound hypoglycemia, athletes should avoid eating 30 to 90 minutes before a workout. 

The data shows a peak risk at around 50 minutes before exercise. Consuming meals either well before or right before exercise can help maintain stable glucose levels.

Practical Advice for Athletes

Athletes should plan their meals to avoid the critical window of 30 to 90 minutes before exercise. High-carb and high-glycemic-index foods should be avoided during this period. 

Instead, opt for balanced meals with moderate carbohydrate content and lower glycemic indices, consumed either more than 90 minutes before or immediately before starting the workout.

Broader Implications of the Study

The study underscores the potential of CGMs in sports science. By gathering extensive data on glucose levels in athletes, researchers can uncover new patterns and insights, leading to better performance and health outcomes. 

Future studies will require athletes to keep detailed records of their meals and workouts for deeper insights.


Meal timing plays a crucial role in optimizing athletic performance. Using CGMs can help athletes understand their body’s glucose responses and make informed decisions about their nutrition. 

As research in this area continues, we can expect even more refined strategies for optimizing pre-workout nutrition.


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