Where Can I Eat Before Workout?

You can find the best pre-workout meal options at these restaurants near you.

Eat a Balanced Meal

Eating a balanced meal before your workout is essential for keeping your energy levels up. It should be a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Your pre-workout meal should help you get the most out of your workout, fuel your body and provide energy to help you go the extra mile. Let’s explore what types of meals you should be eating before a workout.

Choose a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats

Eating a balanced meal both before and after a workout is important to fuel your body for optimal performance, maintain energy levels and aid in muscle recovery. However, choosing the right combination of foods can be tricky. To ensure you hit the optimum ratio of macronutrients — proteins, carbohydrates and fats — the American Council on Exercise suggests splitting your portion into half carbohydrates, one quarter protein and one quarter healthy fat.

According to ACE, carbohydrates provide your body with immediate energy for activity, while proteins help build lean muscle tissue. Fats are believed to reduce inflammation after training which can lead to quicker recovery times. Healthy fat sources include nuts, avocados and seeds as well as oil-rich fish such as salmon or tuna.

Protein sources include lean meats such as chicken or steak; sheep or goat’s milk cheese; hard boiled eggs; plant-based alternatives such as tofu or soya beans; Greek yogurt; nuts; oats and quinoa. Sources of unrefined carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, root veggies and squash are ideal before a workout due to their slow release rate when digested – sustaining energy levels throughout your training session. In addition, these types of carbs will also satisfy hunger cravings more effectively than processed carbs like white rice or pasta that easily leave you feeling unsatisfied afterwards due to their quick digestion rate after eating them.

Ideally for pre-workout meals, try combining carbohydrates with protein rich sources between 1–4 hours before activity depending how much time you have — opting for lighter options the closer it is to training time — keeping total calories under 400kcal if exercising early in the morning with an empty stomach after an overnight fast. This will depend on individual preferences as well as requirements which can be monitored over a period of time by tracking pre/post workout nutrition numbers against performance goals so adjustments can be made accordingly if needed in order to reach desired results quicker!

Include fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be incorporated into your diet to provide essential vitamins and minerals. They are a vital source of dietary fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients, which can help lower the risk of disease. Fruits and vegetables come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes including fresh, canned, frozen or dried varieties. When choosing fruits or vegetables for your meals it is important to consume a variety each day from all the color groups including: dark green, red/orange/yellow, beans/peas/lentils and starchy vegetables (potatoes). Opt for fresh whenever possible but if you choose canned remember to avoid those that are packed in syrup. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies can help improve overall health as well as provide an abundance of energy for work-outs.

Timing of Meals

It is important to consider the timing of meals when it comes to working out. Eating before a workout can help provide energy and fuel for the workout, as well as helping to increase performance. Eating after a workout helps with muscle recovery. When should you eat before and after a workout? Let’s take a look.

Eat a meal 1-3 hours before your workout

Eating a balanced meal 1-3 hours before you workout can help to maximize your performance in the gym and facilitate recovery afterwards. This pre-workout meal should include carbohydrates to fuel your muscles during exercise, as well as protein and healthy fats. Eating too close to a workout can cause digestive distress, however, so it is essential to plan ahead and give yourself enough time for digestion.

The ideal pre-workout meal will provide you with both carbohydrates and proteins in a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 (carbs to protein). Some examples might be whole grain toast with nut butter and banana, overnight oats with yogurt and berries or a veggie-packed omelette with cherry tomatoes and spinach. If you are looking for convenience, some options that are ready within minutes include Greek yogurt parfaits with berries and granola or low sugar protein shakes blended together from real foods – such as grass-fed whey protein powder mixed with almond milk, frozen banana slices, spinach leaves and peanut butter. If you need something small or digest quickly before heading out the door, go for quick energy boosters such as an apple with 2 tablespoons of almond butter or half a bagel topped with cottage cheese.

The key is to experiment ahead of time so that you know what works best for fueling your workout sessions while avoiding stomach upset during your workout.

Have a small snack 30-60 minutes before your workout

Eating before exercise can help increase energy levels and performance during your workout. It can also help reduce the feeling of fatigue you may experience during intense physical activities. Having a small snack that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat, such as a piece of fruit or toast, is usually sufficient for most people 30-60 minutes before exercise. Eating a meal 2-3 hours prior to exercise can also provide an adequate amount of energy.

It is important to be mindful of what types of food you’re eating prior to working out as well as how much. Eating foods that are high in fat, such as greasy burgers, fries, and ice cream, can cause nausea and upset stomach during your workout session. Eating too much food can make you feel lethargic or bloated which can lead to decreased performance during the activity. Additionally, drinking plenty of water both before and after exercise is important for maintaining hydration status — dehydration can lead to fatigue and even heat stroke if symptoms are ignored. By being mindful of what types of food you’re eating before workouts along with proper timing when it comes to meals and snacks, this will help ensure optimal performance every time!

Pre-Workout Foods

Eating before a workout is an essential part of preparing for any physical activity. Eating the right pre-workout foods can provide energy, improve performance, and even help to manage weight. The type of food you eat before working out will depend on the intensity of your workout and personal preferences. Some good options include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Let’s explore what pre-workout foods are best and when to eat them.

Whole grains

Whole grain foods are an ideal option for pre-workout fuel as they offer a slow and steady release of carbohydrates, providing a steady stream of energy. Complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole grains, take longer to break down. This helps reduce any sugar crash or cravings that may occur after the workout. Whole grains are usually high in fiber and packed with nutrients like B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, selenium and potassium. Examples of whole grain foods you can incorporate into a pre-workout meal include oatmeal made with whole rolled oats and topped with nut butter and berries; brown rice with vegetables; quinoa bowls with added protein and veggies; or whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce. Additionally, other fiber containing snacks like fresh fruit or vegetables also make great pre-workout options.

Lean proteins

lean proteins are essential pre-workout fuel. Protein has a low glycemic index, which provides lasting energy, and it helps to build and repair muscles that have been damaged through exercise. Eating enough lean protein before working out can also improve recovery time after a strenuous activity or exercise session.

Lean protein sources include lean cuts of red meat, poultry, and fish like salmon or tuna. Egg whites are also a good source of low-calorie protein as another great pre-workout food. Plant proteins such as quinoa, nuts, beans and tofu are also excellent for pre-workout nutrition. Having a mix of these foods in your pre-workout meal is ideal to give you the nutrients you need for proper workout performance.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables can provide vital energy and nutrients that are essential for a successful workout. Fruits are packed with simple carbohydrates, which can provide the body with quick energy. Additionally, they also contain electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, which help replenish fluids lost through sweat. Eating a piece of fruit or drinking a cup of juice 30-60 minutes before exercising can help to prevent dehydration and fatigue.

Vegetables, although not as high in carbohydrates as fruits, can also provide energy to fuel an effective workout. Pre-workout vegetables should be chosen carefully: beans and legumes contain significantly more carbohydrates than other vegetables; whereas cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower take longer to digest, making them less ideal for pre-workout meals. Carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, celery, tomatoes and mushrooms all make great pre-workout foods due to their relatively high levels of complex carbs. These complex carbs break down more slowly in the body than simple carbs found in fruit so they will release their energy over a longer period of time helping athletes stay energized for longer workouts.

Post-Workout Foods

Eating after a workout can be just as important as eating before a workout. Eating the right post-workout foods can help you to recover faster and build muscle. The best post-workout foods should include a combination of carbohydrates and protein. In this article, we will look at the best post-workout foods that you can eat before a workout and how to make sure you are getting the most out of them.


Carbohydrates are essential for energy and endurance during workouts. Eating the right type of carbohydrates before, during, and after a workout is important for performance, recovery and overall health. Pre-workout meals should contain easily digestible carbohydrates; ideal pre-exercise food sources include whole grain breads, high fiber cereals, oatmeal, yogurt, sweet potatoes, fruit juices and fruits. During exercise, it is important to replace lost electrolytes by eating foods such as bananas or drinking sports beverages such as Gatorade or electrolyte drinks.
After a workout, replenishing your body with the proper nutrients is essential for muscle recovery and growth. Post-exercise meals should include both carbohydrates and protein; ideal post-workout food sources are lean meats, fish or poultry with unrefined grains such as whole wheat pasta or quinoa. Additionally, adding healthy fats such as avocado or olive oil provides added satiety to post-workout meals. To add extra flavor to your post-workout meal while still keeping calories low try adding fresh herbs like mint or cilantro to give your meal more depth without excessive sugar or salt intake.


Protein is an important macronutrient needed for proper recovery and muscle repair after a workout. Having a good protein source pre- and post-workout can help to reduce muscle breakdown, refuel muscles, and help the body repair damaged muscle fibers.

The best sources of protein before and after your workout should be lean and whole foods with little to no added sugars, sodium or preservatives. Examples of great pre- and post-workout proteins include a light tuna salad sandwich on wheat bread, grilled chicken breast with sweet potato, tofu scramble with vegetables or nuts, beans on whole wheat toast or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.

Smaller servings of lean protein include hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese or small quantities of red meat such as steak. Protein shakes are another easy way to get protein in before or after a workout; however it should be noted that most shakes contain added sugar which can cause an energy spike followed by a crash after the workout. Whole food sources are best post-workout when possible to provide sustained energy during the recovery process.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats should be part of any post-workout meal as they help to replenish energy stores, repair muscles and reduce inflammation. The sources, however, can vary. Foods that have unsaturated fats are the most desirable – these are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; they help reduce the risk of various illnesses such as heart disease. Sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds (such as chia or flax), nut butters (peanut/almond/cashew/etc), fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) and whole egg. It is important to keep in mind that while fat helps you to feel satiated after a workout, it is still very high in calories so should be eaten in moderation in order to reach your goals!

Meal Ideas

Eating a meal before a workout is important as it provides your body with energy and sustains blood sugar levels. The pre-workout meal should be full of carbohydrates and protein to fuel your strength and endurance. There are many great meal ideas that you can use to make sure that you have the energy you need to power through your workout. Let’s talk about some of these meal ideas.

Overnight oats

Overnight oats are a great way to start your day off on the right foot, especially if you’re busy and don’t have time to make breakfast. It’s a convenient and nutritious meal option that can be prepared ahead of time – all you need to do is mix the ingredients in a container and let them sit overnight. As with any meal, you can modify it to suit your tastes – make it with dairy or plant-based milk, ground flaxseed, Greek yogurt, honey or agave nectar, fresh fruit or nuts.

Overnight oats provide an excellent source of dietary fiber to help keep digestion regular and promote satiety throughout the morning. Fiber also helps slow down the absorption of sugar in your body so that you don’t experience sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. For added protein, mix in a tablespoon of almond butter or chia seeds for an extra nutritional punch – these will help fuel your workout performance too!

At night before heading out for your workout, just grab a jar or container of pre-made overnight oats from the fridge that’s ready to go! This easy preparation makes overnight oats one of the best meal ideas for busy people who need something quick and energizing before training at the gym.

Protein smoothies

Protein smoothies are an ideal meal choice before a workout. They’re a convenient way to fuel red blood cells with protein and other essential nutrients to supply energy during your workout. A protein smoothie is made with a liquid base like milk, water, or juice, blended together with protein powder and fruits or veggies. Every smoothie can be customized for your particular nutritional needs and preferences.

Making your own protein shake gives you the freedom to choose quality ingredients like nut milks, oats or chia seeds which contain slow-digesting carbohydrates that provide sustained energy throughout the day. To further increase the nutrition content of your smoothie, you can also add Greek yogurt, flaxseed oil or nuts/seeds as well as fresh fruit such as banana, strawberry or blueberry to help naturally sweeten it.

You should aim for 20-30 grams of protein in your pre-workout shake depending on the intensity level of your workout – more if you’re doing extensive strength training and endurance activities at high intensity intervals (such as HIIT). In general, consuming around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per hour prior to exercise is recommended to maximize muscle growth and recovery after exercise. Additionally, adding healthy fats such as coconut oil or almond butter will provide longer lasting energy throughout the day.

Egg wrap with veggies

Egg wrap with veggies is a delicious and healthy meal idea for those looking to refuel before a workout. Eggs are a great source of protein, which helps with muscle growth and recovery. Veggies provide an essential source of vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber. This meal will help you get the energy you need for your workout without feeling bloated or weighed down.

To make this meal, start by scrambling two eggs in a bowl and add in whatever kind of veggies you like. Delicious options include bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, broccoli etc. You can also add cheese or other toppings such as diced ham or bacon if desired.

Once your filling is ready, lay out a high-fiber tortilla shell on a plate and spread the scrambled egg with veggie mix across the center in an even layer. Roll up each side of the tortilla towards the center to form your wrap and press down slightly to keep everything together – topping it off with some avocado slices (optional). Now all that’s left to do is grab it and go!

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