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What To Eat Before a Workout

Learn what to eat before the gym and maximise the results of your training with the best pre workout snacks and meals.
Learn what to eat before the gym and maximise the results of your training with the best pre workout snacks and meals.

What To Eat Before a Workout

Whether you’re a pro athlete, regular gym goer or you’re starting to exercise for the first time, the fuel you put into your body can impact your results, so it’s important to pay attention to the foods you consume pre and post workout. Make the most of your fitness regime by learning more about which foods can help you keep going for longer and maximise your results.
What is Sports Nutrition?

What is Sports Nutrition?

Sport nutrition focuses on the dietary practices that can support or grow the performance of athletes or anyone who engages in physical activity. The food we eat has a huge impact on performance, so sports nutritionists look at how to enhance a diet to improve endurance, stamina, recovery and performance for exercise. Sports nutrition is not only important for professional athletes but any adult who wants to improve their physical performance.
What To Eat Before a Workout

What To Eat Before a Workout

Different activities require different macronutrients, so what to eat before a workout really depends on the type of exercise. Here’s an overview:

  • Carbs - Most people (unless they follow a keto diet) use carbohydrates as their primary source of energy. Carbs should therefore be included as part of a pre workout meal especially for endurance based sports like running and swimming
  • Protein - Proteins are very important for muscle growth, therefore including protein before or after workout is a great way to reduce muscle breakdown, especially for weight training. Find out more about high protein meals and vegan high protein meals.
  • Fat - Fats are also another key source of energy, if you follow a keto diet, this might be your primary source. They are great for low intensity activities like walking or gentle cycling
Foods to Eat Before a Workout

Foods to Eat Before a Workout

Pre-workout meals need to be easy to digest (no one wants heartburn on the treadmill) and have a balance of healthy fats, protein and carbs. If you are on a lower carb diet, its important to make sure you’re consuming enough healthy fats to replenish your energy levels. Here are some examples of pre-workout foods for different diets:

  • Whole wheat toast: A great source of carbs to help keep your stamina up
  • Nut butters like peanut or almond butter: Not only will this taste great on your wholegrain toast, but nut butters provide healthy fats and proteins
  • Smoothies: Packed with vitamins and much easier to digest than fruit on its own, plus you can add yoghurt or protein powder for an extra protein boost to keep your muscles going
  • Lean proteins: Turkey, chicken, fish or for a plant based option, beans
  • Bananas: Great for slow release energy
  • Nuts, seeds, and avocados: Sources of healthy fats
Best Pre-Workout Meals

Best Pre-Workout Meals

The best types of pre-workout meals have a mix of carbs, protein and healthy fats. Take a look at some of our recommendations below:

  • Lizi's Mango Macadamia Granola, Greek Style Yoghurt, Blueberries: Great for a morning workout breakfast, you can find this saty bundle in the add ons menu
  • Smashed Avo & Chorizo Sesame Bagels: Available in our add ons section
  • Mozzarella & Pesto Keto Rolls: Deliciously cheesy and perfect for a keto pre workout snack
  • 21 Day Aged Steak in Tomato and Balsamic Glaze: Tender slices of rump steak in a peppery, sweet balsamic and tomato reduction, then serve them with rosemary sweet potato wedges and tenderstem broccoli.
  • Dukkah Spiced Chickpea and Rice Bowl Sweet and spicy chickpeas for a hit of plant based protein served with dukkah rice and veggies.

Should I Eat Before or After Workout?
If you are planning on exercising for a prolonged period of time or taking part in high intensity interval training, it's a good idea to make sure you have something to eat beforehand. This will keep your energy up so you can get the most out of your workout. However, make sure to leave a gap before eating and exercising, otherwise you can feel sick because your body hasn’t had a chance to digest. A good timeframe would be to have a meal two or three hours before your workout so your body can digest the food first. It's also a good idea to bring a snack to keep yourself going.

We wouldn’t recommend exercising on an empty stomach, if you do choose to wait until after your workout to eat it makes sense to focus on lower intensity exercise, or an activity that lasts less than an hour. Make sure you eat within an hour of finishing your exercise if you haven’t eaten beforehand.

What should I eat post workout?
After exercising it's important to refuel with post workout meals that combine protein to help with muscle recovery and carbs to replenish your energy.

What should I eat post workout for a low carb or keto diet?
If you’re following a low carb diet. or keto diet, it’s important to include some healthy fats to replenish your energy in replacement of carbs, you can include low carb veggies like spinach, kale and broccoli and well as healthy fats like those found in nuts, avocados and olive oil.

Post workout meal ideas

Post workout meal ideas

After a workout it's important to refuel your body with a balanced meal, don’t forget to hydrate with plenty of water too. Check out some of our post workout meal ideas for different diets: