I lift heavy, low reps. I eat two hours before lifting. I then eat immediately post lifting too but that's beside my point. I'm strict paleo.
I eat about 6oz lean protein and about 30-40 grams of carbohydrate from sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, etc before lifting. The only issue is that it usually runs right through me within about 30 minutes of eating it. No pain, no gas or anything, it's just that it goes right through. All my digestion at other times of the day, post lifting, dinner, etc is fine and with no such issues.
So, I've been thinking about replacing the pre lifting carbohydrate with coconut water. Thinking it may be easier on the digestion. And I just thought I'd ask some of the lifters here.
I'm not a lifter, but maybe this will still help. I use coconut water before and during tennis practice, which runs at least several hours and is at an intensity that is glycogen depleting. I can feel the effects of the sugar almost immediately when I drink it, which I guess means it's digesting quickly. It helps me to get through tennis and then be able to still do fitness, which often involves kettlebells, squats, pullups, and other strength exercises. I need some type of carbohydrate to not pass out during this, and coconut water has proved to be the best option so far, although bananas work too.