Article written

  • on 20.02.2011
  • at 08:15 AM
  • by Guest Author

What to Eat Before a Workout: Your Guide to Pre-Exercise Snacks


pre-exercise-snacksKnowing what to eat before a workout has a lot to do with understanding your body. Only you know how hard you can push yourself and the ideal energy level for giving a workout your best and leaving you feeling great.

Everyone is different – the perfect pre-exercise snack for someone else may not be quite right for you. Hopefully with the following ideas, you’ll be able to determine exactly what to eat before a workout.

Try these snacks to keep from getting hungry and stabilize your blood sugar while you exercise.

  • High-Glycemic Index Fruits

Before a workout, you need a quick release of energy so your body can access the benefit right away. Watermelon, pineapple, mango, apricots, and bananas are all excellent quick-energy sources because of their high-glycemic index (GI). Eat them fresh or keep some gourmet dried fruit in your workout bag.

  • Juices & Smoothies

Drinking an all-fruit juice or smoothie will also give you extra oomph before a workout. Make your own or buy one, as long as it’s free of added sugar and preservatives. Don’t be afraid to try mixing in a few veggies if you make your own!

  • Yogurt

Low-fat yogurt that doesn’t contain a lot of added sweeteners or artificial flavoring can make a great pre-exercise snack. It offers you both carbohydrates and protein. Try some vanilla or Greek yogurt topped with a few pieces of your favorite high-GI fruit.

  • Granola Bars

If you tend to work up hunger pains when you exercise, a hearty granola bar can help sustain you to the end. Again, avoid high-sodium and sugar varieties for the best results.

  • H2O

It may seem obvious, but don’t forget about drinking a few cups of water before you work out! Being well-hydrated can make a world of difference in how you feel.

Test out a few different snacks, track how you feel during your workouts, and narrow it down to the best option based on your performance. With all of these snacks, aim for a total of 100 to 200 calories, and eat 30 minutes before you start exercising.

Have you figured out what to eat before a workout in order to feel your best?

Jessica Lymberopoulos is the editor of the Fooducopia Blog, featuring recipes, kitchen tips, and stories about the best artisan foods. She got her start in food writing during sixth grade when she and a friend published a classroom newspaper that a column called The Yum Yum Corner.

  • Fitness Supplements

    A protein source would also be a good choice if you are weight training; maybe whey protein, BCAAs, or a protein rich meal a couple of hours before your workout.

  • Jessica Lymberopoulos

    Yes, I agree — very important a few hours before the workout. Thanks for sharing!

  • Stephanie

    Couldn't live without my plain organic Greek yogurt! Next time I'll try adding fruit!

  • Jessica Lymberopoulos

    Sounds great, Stephanie. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Fitness First

    I have tried each of those methods of dealing with injury over the years. When I was younger and still racing it was very tempting to work an injury or try to ignore it. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not.

  • Jessica Lymberopoulos

    Which was your favorite snack?

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  • Anthony

    Sugars for energy and a few proteins to prevent catabolism of my muscles while I work out.. Works for me.  Love the pineapple idea though.

  • Chino Hills Personal Trainer

    I have been told to eat oat meals. And they really are good to eat you should ad them to your list as well.


    I used to mix apple juice with creatine. Mainly cause I didnt like grape. To help absorb the creatine better before a workout.

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