What to eat before a workout?


Pre-workout nutrition is just as important as schedule and exercise. We share with you tips on how to organize a snack before going to the gym.

If you are going to physically train your body, you must first provide it with proper nutrition. This is not about sports supplements, but about real delicious dishes. You’ll love this food either way, especially if you know it helps you reach your fitness or bodybuilding goals. Find out what professional sports nutritionist Samantha Jones recommends eating before exercise. Consider recommendations an important part of your training plan. After all, if we are what we eat, then the quality and other properties of the food used will inevitably affect the effectiveness of training.


So, the simulator is installed, the water bottle is ready, both shoes are found. But did you forget something? When it comes to training, the last meal before it starts should keep your blood sugar stable. This means that you will have plenty of energy for cardio and strength training.

Important: Mix protein, healthy fats, and some good carbs. And of course, after that, add some healthy desserts (you deserve it!).

The best meals to eat before a workout

  1. Whole grain toast, peanut or almond butter and banana slices. There’s a reason runners love bananas – they’re loaded with simple carbohydrates, natural sugars, and most importantly, potassium. This electrolyte helps prevent muscle spasms and can be excreted through sweat. Peanut butter and almond butter contain healthy fats, while toast is a complex carbohydrate that stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  2. Chicken thighs, rice and steamed vegetables. Looking for the best food before the gym? Consider this classic combination of chicken protein and complex carbohydrates. In addition, the fiber in vegetables aids in digestion. Choosing chicken thighs over breasts is a personal preference, but dark meats contain more of the healthy fat you need to keep you going during your workout.
  3. Oatmeal, protein powder and blueberries. The complex carbohydrates found in oatmeal break down slowly in your body, which means more sustainable energy. Enhance your nutrition by adding a scoop of protein powder. Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries or cherries contain antioxidants, very beneficial substances that help prevent cell damage.
  4. Fried eggs, vegetables and avocado. Eggs are rich in high quality protein, and if you add the yolk, you get all eight essential amino acids. They promote muscle building and recovery. Avocados help you get rid of excess fat, and vegetables are rich in nutrients, whichever one you choose.
  5. Protein smoothie. Protein powder is a must, but as an addition to it, choose what you like best. Natural or almond milk, berries, bananas, peanut butter, avocados, even some leafy greens are all perfectly acceptable. You’ll get fast-digesting carbohydrates as well as healthy fats and protein. Find what suits you best.

How to Organize Pre-Workout Meals

As with exercise, there are no universal options for preparing for a workout. What exactly to eat before exercise? What suits you best. Also pay attention to the timing. If you’re going to have a pre-workout snack, try to snack two to three hours before your workout. But if you’re short on time, eat 30-45 minutes before exercising. Pay attention to how time frames affect you.

Maybe you should have a snack 30 minutes before the treadmill, or maybe your body feels better if you have more time to digest. Experiment with food combinations and timing, and you’re sure to find the perfect pre-workout snack. In any case, you should not overeat.

Important: The amount of food consumed in excess of the usual will not provide any benefits in physical exercise. On the contrary, it will create additional problems for the heart and lungs. 


The success of a workout largely depends on the nutrition before and after it. In order for the expected result to be guaranteed to appear earlier, first you need to decide on the goal that is in front of you:

  • If the goal is weight loss, then you need to eat 4 hours before a fat burning workout: this way you will use reserve energy, and not just the calories received.
  • If you want to gain muscle mass, then 2 hours before strength training, you need to have a good lunch.

Fat burning workouts should be done on an empty stomach, or 3-4 hours after eating. The training will be less intense, but more difficult – this forces the body to use its resources to the maximum.

Nutrition tips for different types of workouts

  1. Nutrition rules before morning workout. If you prefer to train in the morning and you don’t have time for breakfast – in this case, a gainer containing a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins will help. Take half a scoop of a gainer immediately after waking up, and the other half 15 minutes before class.
  2. Rules of nutrition before strength training.  2 hours before strength training, you need to give the body carbohydrates and proteins. The ideal choice is low-fat lean meats (eg chicken breast) and complex carbohydrates (cereals, potatoes, rice). As a protein for muscle growth, you can choose a sports protein with a high absorption rate.
  3. Instilled nutrition before training to burn fat. Hormones are responsible for the fat burning process. To lose weight, it is necessary to minimize the level of sugar and insulin in the blood. Eliminate simple carbohydrates and sugar from your diet before training. Glucose promotes the release of insulin into the body, which blocks the release of fat from cells. Fat is not converted into energy and the result from training will be minimal.

Important: Before training, it is possible to take BCAA amino acids or fat burners. Keep in mind that fat burners contain caffeine, which can cause heart palpitations, which can adversely affect health.

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