Timing is everything.
The ideal time to eat is between 30 minutes to three hours before your workout. That way you’re not still digesting when you hit the gym floor, but you haven’t gone and used up all those helpful calories yet. Having said that, this can be customized. You may have to experiment to see which timeframe does your body good. If you’re working out first thing in the morning, you probably won’t be able to eat a whole meal before you hit the gym. A small snack or mini-breakfast should suffice. I like to start sipping on this protein-packed green smoothie 30 minutes to an hour before I hit the gym, and finish the other half when I’m done. If you are exercising later in the day, I recommend having a snack 30 minutes to an hour before your workout, or working out 2-3 hours after a well-balanced meal.