20 Of The Best Things To Eat Before A Workout

Learning about these 20 of the best things to eat before a workout can help to ensure that you are getting the most out of the time you spend in the gym. Just about everyone interested in fitness can tell you that nutrition is just as important, if not more so, than exercising. Simply put if you want your body to perform at it’s best you need to fuel it with the right foods. By priming yourself with the right foods before a workout, you can make sure that you perform well, and that your body can start recovering quickly once your workout is over. If you are looking for a shortcut, make sure to read my post on the best pre-workout supplement.

Protein Shake

have a protein shake before workout
While drinking a protein shake after a workout is a fairly common practice, not as many people have one before a workout. It takes time for your body to digest the food that you eat. This means that if you are waiting until after a workout to provide it with protein then you are delaying the recovery process. Instead of only consuming protein post workout, try having a protein shake about 30 minutes before a workout. If you do this then your body will have begun the process of digesting the shake by the time you are done working out. This will give your muscles quick access to the protein that they need.

Bananas

Use bananas as a pre workout
Bananas are a fantastic food to eat before a workout for a number of reasons. First, they are loaded with healthy carbohydrates which will give you the fuel you need to get through your workout. Second, they are loaded with potassium which will help to prevent muscle cramping during and after your workout. If you want to enjoy the benefits of the banana, then try eating one about 30 minutes before a workout.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal as a preworkout
Although oatmeal is generally viewed as a breakfast food, it can in fact be a great food to eat before a workout. Whole oats provide a healthy source of slow digesting carbohydrates that will give you fuel during your workout. They are also loaded with fiber, which can help you with digestion. This is especially important if you are on a high protein diet. Try having a small bowl of oatmeal 30 to 45 minutes before a workout to get the best benefit from them.

Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt as a preworkout
Greek Yogurt is low in sugar and fat, and is high in protein. Eating a cup or two about 30 minutes before a workout will help to get the recovery process started up faster by giving your body access to the protein it needs post workout. Since it is low in sugar you should probably have some fruit with it so that you can keep your sugar levels up for your workout.

Eggs

Eat eggs as a preworkout
Another food commonly eaten for breakfast, having a few eggs 30 minutes to an hour before a workout is a quick, easy, and economical way to give your body the protein it will need. You can prepare them in a number of ways, and can add them to other foods to make a meal out of them.

Fruit Smoothies

Fruit Smoothies as a preworkout
If you are looking for a truly delicious way to get ready for a workout, then having an all natural fruit smoothie is a great way to go. Fruits are high in healthy sugars that can help to keep you from feeling tired during a workout. If you want to get an even better benefit you can even add a scoop of protein powder to your fruit smoothie. To get the best results from this healthy drink try having one 30 minutes before a workout.

Raisins

Raisins as a preworkout
Raisins are loaded with antioxidants, and are also very high in healthy carbohydrates. Because they do not require refrigeration they are a very convenient food that you can carry with you for snacking. If you are really pressed for time you can even eat raisins while driving to the gym.

Peanut butter covered apple

Peanut butter covered apple
Apples are well known for their healthy properties, and peanut butter is loaded with protein and healthy fats and oils. A quick, easy, and economical snack before a workout is the simple peanut butter covered apple. This snack eaten about 30 minutes before a workout will give you the perfect blend of protein, and slow digesting carbohydrates that your body needs to perform at it’s best.

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter preworkout
Another way to get some peanut butter into a snack before a workout is to spread some on a piece of whole wheat bread. Much like the apple peanut butter snack, this snack eaten about 30 minutes before a workout will give you a good source of carbohydrates and protein.

Chocolate milk

Chocolate milk pre workout
Long thought of as a kid’s drink, in recent years more and more people are learning that simple chocolate milk can be a great drink to have before or after a workout. To make sure that you are getting the best results make sure that your chocolate milk is made with skim milk, and make sure to keep the sugar level as low as you can. Drinking a glass of chocolate milk about 45 minutes before a workout can help to give you the energy you need for training, and also the protein you need for recovery.

Cottage cheese and fruit

Cottage cheese and fruit pre workout
Cottage cheese is high in protein and fresh fruit is high in healthy carbohydrates. This makes the two of them combined a perfect option to eat before a workout. While cottage cheese is known to be a healthy snack, it is often passed up because of it’s bland flavor. By eating fresh fruit with it you can counteract this, while also getting the healthy nutrition that your body needs.

Beef jerky

Beef jerky preworkout
Beef jerky’s benefit of being high in protein should be obvious. Although most types of beef jerky are high in sodium, the high protein content, low carbohydrates, and low fat more than makes up for the extra sodium you will be taking in. One of the biggest benefits that beef jerky offers as a snack is the convenience factor. You can keep a bag in your car or gym bag for easy access, and because it keeps for a long time you don’t have to worry about it spoiling. Because it can take a while to digest it’s best to eat beef jerky about an hour before a workout.

Salad with chicken breast

Salad with chicken breast preworkout
Everyone knows that green leafy vegetables are good for you, but not everyone knows why. Green leafy vegetables are high in fiber, high in antioxidants, and are low in calories. This combined with some grilled chicken breast makes for an ideal snack eaten about 45 minutes before a workout. Making things even more convenient is the fact that you can find chicken strips that are cooked and ready to eat in most grocery stores now. When you combine this with a ready made salad kit it’s easier than ever to have a salad as a healthy snack.

Turkey sandwich on whole wheat

Turkey sandwich on whole wheat preworkout
Although a sandwich may not seem like a health food, it can be if it is made the right way. By starting with whole wheat bread and turkey breast you have a great base for a healthy meal. Next add some greens, a tomato, and even an avocado. If you need a little extra flavor add some mustard, if you must have mayo then make sure that it is the low fat variety. The only downside to eating a sandwich before a workout is that it can leave you feeling full, so make sure you give yourself at least an hour after eating before you start to workout.

Ice coffee with protein powder

Ice coffee with protein powder preworkout
If you find that getting through a workout can be a challenge, a little caffeine may be exactly what you need. Having an ice coffee with protein powder can give you a shot of energy to get you going, and then the protein you need to start your recovery the right way. Because caffeine is fast acting you should have this drink anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before your workout. It’s important to remember that caffeine is a stimulant, so you don’t want to over do it. Make sure that you find the right balance of enough caffeine to get you moving, but not so much that you feel ill.

A fruit cup

Fruit cup as a preworkout
A fruit cup is another healthy snack option that has the added benefit of being convenient. Any grocery store will sell fruit cups, and they don’t need to be refrigerated. You can simply pack a couple in your gym bag in the morning and have them ready to go as a snack before your workout. If you want to get a healthy fruit cup make sure that you only buy and eat fruit cups made with fruit juice. There are some fruit cups that use syrup instead of fruit juice, which is simply another form of unhealthy sugar. Try eating a fruit cup or two about 30 minutes before you hit the gym and you should feel energized while you are training.

Peanuts or almonds

Peanuts or almonds as a preworkout snack
Peanuts or almonds are very convenient snacks that are ideally eaten about 30 minutes before you go to the gym. Both of these nuts are noted for being loaded with protein as well as being low in sugar and high in healthy fats. Like several other foods on this list they are also a great choice because of their convenience. You can keep a can of nuts in your gym bag or car so that you can snack whenever the need arises.

A Protein bar

Protein bar as a preworkout snack
Protein bars are staples of the health food industry, and with good reason. Protein bars that are made with healthy ingredients pack a lot of nutrition into a small and convenient package. Much like protein shakes, protein bars are eaten by a lot of people after a workout, but not many before. If you want to make sure that your body has the protein it needs quickly after a workout is done, try eating a protein bar 30 minutes before you hit the gym.

An omelet

omelet as a pre-workout meal
Another take on eating eggs before a workout, an omelet gives you the freedom to add some other ingredients to your eggs. Try adding some fresh vegetables to your omelet along with some low fat cheese to give yourself a delicious and nutritious meal that is a great choice to eat before a workout. Because an omelet is a very filling meal it’s best eaten about an hour before a workout.

Sports drink

sportsdrink as a pre-workout
While many sports drinks are loaded with sugar, there are now quite a few varieties that are offered that are fairly low in sugar. One of the great things about a sports drink is that it’s easy to add things to it to make it an even better choice to drink before a workout. Try adding a scoop of creatine, which will help you if you do any strength training. Creatine increases endurance, which will allow you to train harder. The creatine combined with the electrolytes and sugars in the sports drink should help to fuel you through your workout. Unlike the other foods on this list you can actually start drinking a sports drink at any time before or during a workout.

Proper nutrition is essential if you want to get into great shape and keep your body running at a high level. You wouldn’t put low grade gasoline into a high end sports car, so you shouldn’t treat your body any differently. If you eat junk food then no matter how hard you workout you are not going to feel or look your best. Because of this it’s very important that you learn how to eat right. One of the most important parts of eating right is learning what to eat before a workout. When you are working out your energy needs are going to be much higher than they are during most other times during your day. After a workout your nutritional needs will also be much higher as your body begins the process of recovering from the workout you have just gone through. By learning what to eat before a workout, you can make sure that you are getting the nutrition that you need to perform at your best. This means that you need to learn about these 20 of the best things to eat before a workout.