In general, the closer to the workout you are, the lighter you want to go as far as your meal or snack. If you are within 60-90 minutes, a liquid can be much easier to digest, decreasing the risk for GI upset at you get through your workout.
If you are doing a cardio-based workout, you most definitely want to include adequate carbohydrate to top off your muscle glycogen (you wouldn't try to drive across the state on just fumes right?!) Including a bit of lean protein supports maintenance/building of lean body mass. Lastly, go low on the fat- fat slows gastric emptying, i.e. fat will keep the food in your stomach longer, increasing the chance for a "heavy" or full feeling during your activity.
Since it had been quite a few hours since my last meal, I whipped up a quick shake to drink about an hour before my run this afternoon. I used a powdered (defatted) peanut butter to still attain that wonderful peanut flavor, but without the filling fat. A little cocoa powder and dash of cinnamon add a powerful antioxidant boost, plus some yummy flavor!
The lower fat content, and the liquid meal itself, kept me from feeling full during my run, and the extra boost of nutrition primed my legs to keep on moving :)
PB Banana Pre-Workout Shake1 ripe banana
1/4 cup plain, fat free greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tb PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
1 Tb cocoa powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Blend all ingredients in a smoother- add ice to reach desired consistency. Enjoy!
Nutrition information: 220 calories, 4gm fat, 217mg sodium, 39gm carbohydrate, 8gm fiber, 18gm sugar (natural), 14gm protein