What to Eat Before a Workout


If you’re just starting out with a new workout  plan and wondering what your options are for pre-workout meals, then you’ve come to the right place. There is a lot of information and misinformation out there about pre-workouts, calories, carbohydrates, plans, and more. Here, we will try and break it down so you can go off knowing some do’s and don’ts.

Differing Pre-workout Perceptions

Different people have various opinions on eating right before workouts. Some people may not see it as necessary to eat before a workout, especially if weight-loss is the goal. While these perceptions often differ, when it comes down to it, it’s very necessary to eat something before you start working out.

While some individuals often see it essential to take a specific type of protein shake right before a workout, others prefer drinks with a variety of different ingredients, pre-workout powers, and/or supplements.

Addressing Pre-workout Concerns

When these controversies arise, it is always necessary to seek the advice of a nutritionist. A nutritionist is privy to this information and will offer helpful details regarding best practices.

But, from the nutrition perspective, eating right before a workout is necessary for the body because exercise trigger the body to burn calories and deplete energy, meaning that you need a source of fuel in your body to have a proper and efficient workout.

Very athletic people, especially those who visit the gym, thus should not only eat before a workout, but also should consume healthy foods that will help sustain their bodies throughout the exercise that they intend to partake.

Pre-workout Myths

  • Eating before you work out is NOT necessary

Some individuals suggest that eating before a workout is not required since they are trying to lose weight. This concept remains a myth, according to dietitians.

If weight loss is the goal, then restricting some calories can definitely be helpful, however failing to consume anything before a workout is not going to help and is quite unhealthy overall. Restricting calories (especially in the time before a workout), means restricting your body’s energy, which could result in harmful damage during your workout.

Eating before your workout will not help to give you the necessary energy you need to get through your workout effectively and efficiently, but will help you to burn more fat and build muscles..

  • Eating before a work out is only for cardio

Eating right before an exercise is not just limited to those doing heavy cardio. Though different types of foods will be more helpful depending on the type of workout you’re doing, individuals who are privy to heavy cardio workouts should still be consuming foods that are going to energize and sustain them.

Take carbs for example. Carbohydrates are energy giving food and ensure that the body is not unnecessarily exhausted before a workout. Eating carbs before an exercise provides the body with the strength to perform better. However, someone doing harder cardio shouldn’t necessarily consumer heavy carbohydrates. Such carbs take extra hours to digest . Exercising with such a heavy stomach can pose a lot of discomfort.

  • A protein shake is the best pre work out meal

Many individuals opt for a pre-workout protein shake. Interesting enough, our bodies do not utilize proteins as energy sources. Thus taking protein before a workout does not auger well with building extra muscles or sustaining an exercising session.

However, while consuming protein may not be helpful prior to working out, this depiction does not rule out taking proteins after exercising. Taking proteins immediately after a workout is vital in building muscles and restoring your body.

Pre-workout Plans for Different Categories

  • Body builder’s pre-workout plan

Bodybuilders are concerned with building adequate muscles. Thus they should consume a small meal approximately an hour before a workout.

Their meal should consist of equal amounts of carbs and lean protein. Timing, however, becomes necessary to ensure that the food does not sit heavy on the stomach and cause discomfort during the workout. Thus taking these meals in light amounts or early enough is something to think about.

Some possible meals include;

• Egg whites

• Whole wheat pasta

• Chicken and brown rice

• Fruits and protein isolate

Exercising for Weight Loss

Actively pursuing healthy weight loss requires one to sustain a balance in what he or she consumes before a workout. You want to ensure your body has the right energy and nutrients, while not consuming too much of a surplus of calories.

Calories taken should be minimal yet enough to sustain you through the heavy workouts. It is essential to combine complex proteins with lean proteins as it works well. Caution should be observed not to abuse carbohydrates before an exercise.

Some possible combinations include;

• Almond butter with a banana

• A handful of nuts with an apple

• Fruits

• Oatmeal with berries

Pre-workout Meals for Energy Sustainability

In sustaining high energy levels, complex carbohydrates are going to be a go-to. They help in fueling the body throughout an exercise and keeping energy levels up. Several foods achieve excellent results. They include;

• Bananas

• Yogurt with fruit

• Turkey with vegetables and rice

• Apples with raisins

• Lean meat and whole-grain bread

Though finding an appropriate pre work out combination is challenging, it is necessary to try the suggested options. Maximizing these options will be crucial in sustaining healthy workouts and reaching your personal fitness goals. The utilization of this guide can prove to be necessary and equally helpful. It’s also crucial to differentiate myths from facts. Don’t be misguided and remember to find a routine and combination that works best for you. Everyone is different!


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