What To Eat Before Workout: 10 Healthy Foods

Do you know What to eat before workout? Regular exercise is a good habit in order to stay fit but together with exercising, your diet plays an important role not only for bodybuilding but diet is necessary irrespective of your exercising goal.

You need the energy to burn out your calories (pre-workout meal) and you also need to regain your energy after a workout session(post-workout meal1).

All of us want the best result from our workout sessions and for that, we need good training, run quicker than earlier, and jump higher than before.

For all this one should be prepared mentally for a tiring workout but don’t forget to prepare yourself physically as well by warming up and a healthy balanced diet.2

In order to give your best during a workout session, your body needs to be prepared first and for that purpose, there are various foods available that will maximize your energy.

Although the requirement of nutrition varies from person to person, certain food items are available that help to balance the number of carbs, fats, and protein that will help you in managing your energy, fight against fatigue and fuel your body with energy.

Finding the best combination of food according to your needs is not easy but once you successfully find it, you will feel more energy and power to achieve your goals. Food items may vary on a daily basis but one thing will remain constant that is water.

Stay hydrated before, after, and throughout the workout session is necessary. So make sure to drink water.  Doing exercise with dehydration or energy will negatively impact your body.

Why Is It Important To Eat Before Workout?

Eating well is a basic part of doing a workout properly. Eating the items that work best and are suitable according to your need make you feel energetic throughout and even after the workout. When you feel good while exercising then probably you will do some extra reps or give the workout session your best.

Eating properly helps to avoid sugar dips and reduce hunger as well, also it provides support to your muscles and increases the capacity that will make you push your limits and achieve your goals early.

Basically, a meal before a workout depends on the intensity and goals of the workout. For instance:- some will go for cardio others will prefer strength training.

Having a pre-workout meal is necessary when you are going for a HIIT session or weight lifting. Although you need some time to determine your goals and then your meals accordingly.

A perfect meal(pre-workout) is one that is low in fats, and high in carbs together with moderate amounts of protein. This meal will help you by providing energy for workouts and also protect your muscles or for muscle recovery.

What To Eat Before Workout Session?

As mentioned earlier, your pre-workout diet3 should be a small amount of fats, high in carbs with moderate amounts of proteins. So here is a list of food you can consider eating before your workout session:-

1. Banana

This fruit is a full package of energy, bananas have carbs and potassium. Carbohydrates provide energy to our body and brain. Also, it supports the functioning of muscles and nerves.

So it is considered the best fruit to eat before working out, especially in the morning, as it will provide energy all day. 90% of bananas consist of carbs so if you want to add some protein then have half a banana with peanut butter, except this low-fat milk with banana is also a good option.

2. Whole Grains

These contain complex carbohydrates, and again which are full of energy. Carbs help to maintain the level of blood sugar and carbs gradually release energy that provides energy for a long time. Whole bread, millet bread, quinoa, and so on are examples of whole grains. If you want to add proteins to it, half-boiled eggs are a good option with whole grain.

3. Oats

Similar to whole grains, oats also release energy moderately to sustain energy levels for a long time. Oats are packed with fiber and Vitamin B that transform carbs into energy. Oatmeal with dry fruits such as raisins, and other items like honey, figs, bananas, and so on is definitely no less than a delicious recipe.

4. Yogurt & Fruits

Before 30 minutes of your workout, you can take some fruits or unsweetened sugar. These are not only a source of carbs but other nutrients too which makes it a good pre-workout morning meal.

5. Protein shake

Consuming protein before a workout helps in boosting the performance while the workout. You can take protein with water or low-fat milk prior to a workout session which will increase “muscle protein synthesis4“. It is also a good option for your pre-workout meal.

6. Boiled Eggs

Eggs are rich in protein and other nutrients as well. So it helps in athletic performance. The combination of eggs and whole wheat bread is perfect for a pre-workout meal. Because with carbs and proteins you can give your best to workout sessions.

7. Caffeine

This is a well-known method to boost energy. Coffee or any energy drink having caffeine works as an energy booster. Either you want to study the whole night or you need energy for a workout. But make sure to take some fruits, dry fruits, or any snacks together with it to avoid restlessness that is sometimes caused by caffeine.

8. Smoothies

Another beverage that is not only tasty but healthy as well. You can combine any fruits or vegetables together according to your needs or depending on your nutrient requirements. Avoid adding sugar to sweeten its taste. You can add unsweetened yogurt to it to make it healthy. Prefer green smoothies and use water or low-fat milk as fluids to maintain consistency with fewer calories.

9. Sweet Potato

If you want to build muscles then you should go for a non-vegetarian diet like grilled chicken, also sweet potatoes contain various nutrients. You should also give a try to broccoli salad as it is also healthy.

10. Greek Yogurt

It is rich in protein and if you add some carbs-rich fruit then it is going to be an amazing combination for a pre-workout meal. Greek yogurt is better than a regular one because it is almost double in proteins, with fewer carbs. The protein of yogurt will help you in protecting your muscles while working out, whereas carbs provide energy to burn calories.

Note:- Pre-workout meal doesn’t mean you have to eat just before a workout, there must be a gap of at least 30-90 minutes between your meal and exercising.

Pre-Workout Meal According to Specific Goals:-

If your goal is bodybuilding, that means you want to stay lean and grow muscle mass. So for this purpose, it is better to take a small meal at least one hour prior to your workout session.

Avoid heavy meals as a full stomach make you uneasy while exercising and small meals should be perfectly divided into parts of protein and carbs accordingly. For example:- Fruits, egg white, wheat pasta, oatmeal, brown rice. Make sure to focus on timing and proportion as they play an important role.

Eat enough food that will give you proper energy keeping in mind to eat early and light enough so that you won’t feel lazy. Combine protein and carbs accordingly and have it before an hour.

For the purpose of weight loss, although people prefer empty stomach cardio in the morning it is not necessary. To achieve this you need to work smartly. You need enough energy for your daily routine and workout as well but with fewer calories of course.

So for this purpose eat light food half an hour after your workout. You can consider the following to fulfill your purpose you don’t need a full meal but your overall diet must have lean protein and carbs:-

  1. A banana with almond butter
  2. An apple with some dry fruits/nuts
  3. Whole grain rice or pasta
  4. Oatmeal with again dry fruits

Basically, you need energy for your intense workout session, only fasted cardio is not enough or won’t give a long-term effect. So workout with proper energy is needed.

Final Note

Pre-workout meals play an important role in any sort of workout purpose. So plan your meals according to your goals. The common and important point to keep in mind is that you need to combine complex carbs with protein, with less fat for consuming fewer calories.5

The ideal proportion of these nutrients will surely help you to fuel your body, for a perfect workout. Give your best to your workout in the gym together with some smart planning and you will definitely achieve your goals.

Food items like hard-boiled eggs, fruits, smoothies, vegetables, and so on things are surely good for health. So choose your favorite and suitable combination of food as a full me.

Read more from us here.

  1. Mora, Gaby. “The post-workout meal.” ↩︎
  2. Lim, Soo. “Eating a balanced diet: a healthy life through a balanced diet in the age of longevity.” Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome 27.1 (2018): 39. ↩︎
  3. Martinez, Nic, et al. “The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 13.1 (2016): 29. ↩︎
  4. Atherton, P. J., and K. Smith. “Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise.” The Journal of physiology 590.5 (2012): 1049-1057. ↩︎
  5. Guth, Eve. “Counting calories as an approach to achieve weight control.” Jama 319.3 (2018): 225-226. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *