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Best Pre Workout Meal: Eat This Before A Workout

No one likes their energy to fizzle out in the middle of a workout. Fortunately, you can avoid hitting that proverbial energy wall with the right pre-workout food. A healthy, well-balanced meal can have a positive effect on how you feel during exercise and even affect your post-workout results. Learn more about what foods to include in your diet for the best pre workout meal.

How The Right Pre-Workout Foods Can Help

When you exercise, you burn energy. This energy comes from one primary fuel source – food. But, different types of food provide different levels of energy. Certain foods are quickly and easily digested, which makes them reliable and efficient energy sources. Conversely, some foods slow you down, because they suck up energy for digestion. That’s why it’s important to choose healthy foods that give you energy for training.1

Nutrients And Ingredients Before A Workout

For the most part, you should try to get your nutrients from healthy, wholesome ingredients. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein tend to provide the best pre-workout fuel. Learn more about these nutrients to determine which ones to add to your pre-workout meal.2


best pre workout meal | NucificCarbs are an essential energy source. In fact, many studies have determined that carbohydrates are the most crucial macronutrient for sustaining and enhancing physical fitness.3

They are an easily digestible fuel source, which makes them particularly useful for short or intense workouts. Carbs also store in your muscles as glycogen — which is crucial for recovery after you workout.4

Choosing complex carbs — fruits, veggies, whole grains — over simple carbs, like white bread and breakfast cereal, gives you a steadier supply of energy. That’s because complex carbohydrates break down at a slower pace. That means more sustained energy throughout your whole workout, not only the beginning.5

Healthy Carb Sources:

  • Legumes
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains6

best pre workout meal | Nucific

Dietary Fats

In addition to carbohydrates, fat is the other main energy source used during exercise. In fact, the more you workout, the more you rely on fat to fuel your exercises. This increased reliance on fat then helps boost your ability to burn fat and potentially increases your endurance.7

For the most part, you want to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats. Instead, focus on healthy fats, like monounsaturated and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats.8

These foods tend to be high in healthy dietary fats. You may want to consider them for your pre-workout snacks.

Foods High In Healthy Fats:

  • Avocado
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Seeds9


pre workout food | NucificMany studies have concluded that protein consumed before a challenging workout may help to optimize physical performance. Additionally, it may aid with recovery for both aerobic and resistance training.10

There are many healthy, natural high-protein foods that you can include in your pre-workout diet. Here are a few to get you started:

Great Source Of Protein:

  • Almond milk (unsweetened) and butter
  • Flaxseed
  • Tempeh
  • Canned tuna
  • Halibut
  • Greek yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Avocado11

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Branched-chain amino acids are a particularly potent protein that can help fuel your muscles before a workout. These specific proteins don’t need to be processed by your liver. They hit your bloodstream straight away to give you a quick hit of muscular energy.12

Many people rely on supplements for this powerful protein, but you can also get a great dose from plenty of natural, real foods. Common sources include:

  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Red Lentils13

Solid Pre-Workout Meal Ideas

Follow the ideas below to help you create the best pre workout meal for your goals and appetite. You can modify the ingredients or the portions to suit your needs and goals. It’s all about finding that ideal meal for you.


best pre workout meal | Nucific

Curious where you can find some of the energy-boosting carbs mentioned above? Try a bowl of oatmeal before a morning workout. The carbs from oats digest slowly, which means they offer consistent, long-lasting energy. Take advantage of this solid energy source topped with your favorite fruit or honey.14


A banana isn’t a full meal, but it can be a great option if you need a quick bite before a workout. They’re a particularly excellent source of potassium, which is a vital electrolyte for blood flow and nerve regulation.15

In fact, studies suggest that bananas are as good as carbohydrate drinks at restoring the electrolytes you sweat out during exercise. And they have the added benefit of extra nutrients and antioxidants.16

Plain Greek Yogurt With Fruit

This snack is a double whammy of goodness. A piece of fruit provides a fast digesting carb for energy. Plus, the yogurt is full of protein to reinforce your muscles. Stick to plain yogurt if you can. The added sugars in the flavored choices may lead to unwanted sugar crashes during a workout.17

Whole-Grain Bread With Peanut Butter

Take advantage of some quick carbs with this tasty, energizing snack. Carbs from a piece of whole wheat toast turn into glucose — which your body uses for energy. A quality slice of energy like this may help reduce your chances of running out of steam mid-workout.18

Plus, the high levels of protein in peanut butter may also help support muscle building.19

pre workout fuel | NucificGrilled Chicken With Sweet Potatoes

This winning combo can make a great option before an afternoon workout. Chicken comes packed with protein. And, it’s a high-quality protein to boot. That means it is easily synthesized to repair muscle tissue and other cells affected by exercise. Chicken also has no carbs and is relatively low in fat compared to other meats.20

Sweet potatoes bring home the gold when it comes to high-dose nutrition. They have tons of beta carotene, iron, and vitamin C and E, which all work to guard against cellular damage. They may also assist with muscle recovery.21

Oven Baked Salmon

A filet of salmon can cook quickly and easily in the oven for lunch or dinner. This delicious dish delivers big with omega-3 fatty acids. Including this protein type in your diet may help support your muscle mass and recovery.22

When Is The Best Time To Eat Before A Workout?

The optimal time to eat can fluctuate depending on the type and size of your meal. Typically, it’s good to eat about one or two hours before your workout. This gives you a little time to digest so you won’t feel sluggish. But, listen to your body (mostly your stomach) before doing any strenuous activity. That will always be your best gauge.23

Foods To Avoid Before Working Out

Healthy eating before a workout also includes skipping out on certain ingredients. Specifically, those ingredients that can slow down your digestion and your body. These are a few foods to avoid when creating your best pre workout meal:

Pre-Workout Food For The Win

best pre workout meal | NucificChoosing the right pre-workout fuel can have a huge impact on your energy levels before and after exercise. Give yourself every advantage by eating foods that have complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lots of protein when choosing the best pre workout meal.

These ingredients offer the most reliable source of energy for fitness. Best of all, they can be found in lots of healthy and delicious foods. Choose a few from above, and continue to explore other options to keep your pre-workout meals healthy and delicious. Just make sure to get your doctor’s approval before making any changes to your diet.

Learn More:
-How To Understand Nutrition Facts Labels: A Guide To Food Labels
-How To Stop Eating Unhealthy Food When You Snack
-Easy Beginner Bodyweight Workout At Home: No Gym Necessary And Perfect For Beginners