What To Eat Before A Workout: The Best Meals For Your Pre-workout Nutrition

Woman eating a healthy meal

To get the most out of your workout, you must ensure that you eat the right foods beforehand. Many people just gulp a pre-workout supplement before heading to the gym, but this isn't always the best idea.

To give your body the nutrients it needs to perform at its best, you should be eating specific meals before working out. This blog post will discuss the best pre-workout foods and why they are so beneficial for your health!

Eating Before A Workout

Woman eating a healthy meal

Some believe that eating before a workout gives them energy, while others believe that it makes them feel sluggish. The truth is, it all depends on when you eat and what you eat. If you eat a large meal right before working out, chances are you will feel sluggish because your body is trying to digest the food.

On the other hand, if you eat a small snack an hour or two before working out, you may have more energy because your body will have had time to digest the food and convert it into the energy it needs to exercise.

When you work out, your body uses up its stored glycogen for power. Glycogen is a type of sugar stored in your muscles and liver. If you don't eat before working out, your body might break down muscle protein for energy instead. This can lead to muscle loss and fatigue.

What To Eat Before A Workout

Now that we know it's important to eat before a workout, let's discuss the best foods to eat. It is essential to have a mix of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of lean proteins before working out. Carbohydrates will give you the energy you need to power through your workout, while proteins help repair and rebuild your muscles afterward. A great pre-workout meal contains both of these nutrients and healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. This kind of diet prevents your body from weakening and gives you quick bursts of energy for a resistance workout.

Some great pre-workout foods include:

  • Banana

  • Chicken or turkey

  • Beef jerky

  • Eggs

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

Pre-Workout Meal Combos You Can Try

Below, we share some good combos you can take before your workout:

A Banana With Nut Butter

Banana with nut butter

An effective workout requires energy and potassium, which are abundant in bananas. Healthy fats and protein can be found in peanut butter. This combination provides you with complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and potassium. Eating half a banana with peanut butter is an excellent way to add protein and fat to your pre-workout meal. This may help stabilize blood sugar levels throughout your workout and help prevent muscle cramps.

Spinach Omelet

Spinach omelette

Eggs are a good source of protein and essential amino acids. They're also rich in vitamins A, D, and E and minerals like selenium and zinc. Spinach is a leafy green vegetable high in iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which helps protect against workout-related injuries. This meal provides protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

A Protein Shake With Dark Chocolate

Protein shake with dark chocolate

Having protein shakes just before an exercise can increase muscle protein synthesis and is the best morning pre-workout meal.

Dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants and magnesium. Antioxidants help to protect your cells from damage, and magnesium helps to improve muscle function. Dark chocolate also contains some caffeine, giving you a quick energy boost before your workout.

Try a dark chocolate protein shake if you're looking for a delicious and nutritious pre-workout meal. This shake provides protein, healthy fats, magnesium, and caffeine. You can also have just a dark chocolate bar.

Beef Jerky And Vegetables

Beef jerky is a great pre-workout snack because it's high in protein and low in fat. It's also easy to carry with you and doesn't require any preparation. Vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They're also low in calories and will help fill you up without weighing you down. Try pairing beef jerky with carrots, celery, or any other type of vegetable. This combination will give you the protein you need to build muscle, and the vegetables will provide you with the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy

It's important to remember that everyone is different and will require different amounts of food before a workout. Experimenting with other meals and seeing what works best for you is best.

The Best Time To Have Your Pre-Workout Meals

Woman blending strawberries and almond milk

It would be best if you aimed to consume your pre-workout meal no more than 3 hours before a workout and at least 30 minutes before it begins. This will give your body time to digest the food and use the nutrients for energy. The closer you get to the activity's start, the less you want to eat because it might cause stomach problems while exercising. Rather than a full meal, consider a light snack.

Health Benefits Of Eating Before A Workout

Woman cutting fruits on a chopping board.

Eating before a workout has many benefits. It can help to:

1. Improves Performance

Eating before a workout provides your body with energy, which can help you exercise for extended periods and improve your workout performance.

2. Reduces Muscle Soreness And Improves Muscle Recovery

Eating a pre-workout meal helps to improve your muscle recovery after exercise. This means you'll be able to come back stronger and more quickly from your workouts.

3. Prevents Injuries

You're less likely to get injured during your workout when you have more energy. Eating before exercise can help to prevent injuries by giving you the energy you need to stay safe.

4. Improves Recovery Time

Eating before a workout helps to improve your muscle recovery after exercise. This means you'll be able to come back stronger and more quickly from your workouts.

Natural Supplements To Use For Your Workout

Below, we list some natural supplements that can help boost athletic performance, increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue.


Creatine is a natural supplement that can help you build muscle and improve your performance. You can find creatine in various meat and fish products. Creatine can help you increase your strength, muscle mass, and muscular endurance. It can also help you recover from your workouts more quickly.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is a natural supplement that can help you improve your health. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your heart, brain, and joints. Fish oil can also help you lose fat and build muscle.

These supplements can be beneficial, but they're not necessary. You can get all the nutrients you need from food.

Remember To Drink Water

An athlete drinking some water

It's important to remember that water is just as important as food when it comes to pre-workout nutrition. Make sure you're well hydrated before you start your workout. This will help you to avoid cramping and fatigue. Instead of having sports drinks, aim to drink at least eight ounces of water about 30 minutes before your workout. You can also bring a water bottle to drink during and after your workout.

Foods To Avoid Before A Workout

You should avoid eating any fatty or greasy foods before a workout. These can slow down digestion and make you feel sluggish during your workout. You should also avoid eating anything sugary or high in simple carbs.

These will give you a quick burst of energy, but they will quickly wear off and leave you feeling tired. Stick to complex carbs and healthy fats for sustained energy. Lastly, you should avoid eating anything spicy before a workout.

Spicy foods can cause stomach upset and make breathing difficult during your exercise. Talk to a registered dietitian or your doctor if you have any concerns about what to eat before a workout.

Eating After A Workout

Eating after a workout is just as important as eating before a workout. Some foods to eat after a workout include:

Fruit: Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're also a good source of energy.

Protein: Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. It's also a good source of energy.

Complex carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates are a good source of energy and help to replenish your glycogen stores.

These are just a few suggestions for post-workout foods. The same goes for pre-workout foods; you should experiment to determine what works best. Since every person's body is unique, there is no one post-workout nutrition strategy that works for everyone.

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Summing It All

A woman eating some fruits from a white bowl

Before a workout, it's critical to feed your body with the proper nutrients. Carbs and fat work together to help your body utilize glycogen for short- and high-intensity activities while also helping you exercise longer.

Protein has a variety of benefits. It helps to increase muscle protein synthesis, minimize muscular damage, and enhance recovery by providing the body with needed nutrients.

Following simple pre-workout nutrition principles like the ones listed in this post might go a long way in assisting you in performing better and recovering more quickly.