What to Eat Before a Workout:

A lot of people think that eating before a workout will do them more harm than good. However, depending on the type of food, this is simply false. It takes enough finding the motivation to work out, and you’re going to need as much fuel as possible to keep you pushing throughout the duration of your exercises. That fuel and nourishment can come from a pre-workout refreshment.

Here is what to eat before a workout:

what to eat before a workout
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Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals or experts. What is written throughout the content of our website is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical or professional advice. What you choose to do with the information provided is at your own risk and discretion. Before making any significant changes to your diet and / or lifestyle, be sure to contact your health practitioner.


While you should not exercise on an empty stomach and no prior nourishment, a full-on meal is not necessary. Heavier meals take longer to digest and can slow you down and/or even cause nausea with all of the movement. Lightweight, nutrient-dense foods can supply you with enough energy to get you through your workout. Also, consider the amount of time before you begin your workout to consume something. For instance, if you eat something hours prior to exercising, it can be a little bit heavier than say almost immediately before you work out, since there is more time for the food to digest.

what to eat before a workout

  • Banana – Of the many benefits and nutrients bananas provide, it is expected to make the list for what to eat before a workout. Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, two nutrients particularly helpful for exercise. Potassium promotes good muscle health – preventing cramps/strains and promoting muscle growth. Magnesium aids in protein production and delivery.
  • Multi-grain crackers – These snacks are a healthier alternative than the usual saltier cracker snacks. Another bonus is that many multi-grain crackers consist of organic ingredients, meaning you are getting an authentic delivery of nutrition. These small edibles are sure to give you a boost of energy and comfort before working out.

  • Granola bar – There are granola bars available that contain little added sugars and provide a convenient delivery of nourishment. When you find one, they can make a good choice for a pre-workout snack. Granola has a naturally rich vitamin and mineral content as well.


Muscle growth can be much attributed to protein. Within proteins are essential amino acids that we need in our diet. Specifically for proteins and muscle growth, amino acids help to transport nutrients throughout the body and make repairs to tissues. Foods with a higher protein content can be a healthful pre-workout snack. You are providing your muscles with a strong and healthy foundation for growth.

what to eat before a workout

  • Protein bar – Protein bars can actually be a very beneficial pick of what to eat before a workout. They are a convenient source of protein coming in a variety of flavors. A lot of protein bars often contain complete protein sources, meaning they have all nine essential amino acids. To add to this, there are a variety that consist of different kinds of protein like whey protein that support muscle recovery.

Click here to check out 8 of the best protein bars for any diet:

  • Greek yogurt + fruit toppings Greek yogurt is a healthy, sweet, and for some, a surprising source of protein. You can get between 10-15 grams of protein per cup, making it a great choice of a pre-workout snack. Add some fruit toppings for additional sources of energy.
  • Whole wheat sandwich (1-2 hours before) Whole wheat bread contains high amounts of iron, zinc, and potassium, along with other key vitamins and minerals. These minerals contribute to providing a healthy foundation for muscle growth and function. Because whole wheat and whole grain foods are also high in fiber, you may want to consume these foods a while longer before you exercise to prevent bloating.


Don’t forget your carbs! Carbohydrates provide your body with multiple benefits, including serving as a natural source of energy. That energy comes in the form of natural sugars, one of which being glucose. This is why healthy carbohydrates make a good choice for what to eat before a workout. It’ll give you a good push to keep you going through your exercises. Be wary of added or refined sugars that provide little to no nutritional benefit.

what to eat before a workout

  • Apple slices with peanut butter (30 mins – 1 hour before) – Nutrients packed on top of nutrients, this snack is a fulfilling refreshment to eat before a workout. While apples contain a natural supply of energizing sugars, some peanut butters contain a source of healthy fat that we need in our diet.
  • Carrots – Whether you eat baby carrots or prefer them sliced, this vegetable makes a great pre-workout snack. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is used by the body for a variety of functions, including tissue repair and bone strength.
  • Quinoa salad (30 mins – 1 hour before) – Quinoa is an all-around superfood. It is a good source of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and other vitamins and minerals. It will provide a lasting onset of fuel for your workout.

Protein, healthy carbohydrates, and something lightweight, all make good choices for what to eat before a workout. What is your favorite snack to eat before or after a workout?


1“What Are Amino Acids? | Aminoacid-Studies.Com — Your Information Portal On Amino Acids.” Aminoacid-studies.com. N.p., 2018. Web. 25 Nov. 2018.