5 Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout - Fitness HN

Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout

Like a car uses gas for the fuel, so does our bodies need fuel. A Car might still run on some cheap or inferior quality fuel.

Similarly, our bodies would still work on no matter what foods we eat, but it won’t perform as optimally as with the right foods.

The right and the best foods before and after exercise can boost your results. 

Yes, it’s more about your overall foods and total calorie intake. But eating right foods at the right time is very important when it specifically comes down to sports nutrition, optimal performance, and hormones. Eg: For a sprinter, marathoner, or athlete.

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So what to eat before working out?

Protein and Carbs before Workout - Fitness HN

Mainly Carbohydrates + Proteins

Eating the right foods before going to the gym can help you to train harder and longer. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy of our body. No, Carbs don’t make you fat!

A combination of carbs + protein can help your body to quickly repair & recover, preserve muscle, and also build muscles. For having a killer workout session, the fuel you put in before is very significant. Not providing the right fuel to your body can delay muscle recovery and also result in muscle breakdown.

Pairing protein along with carbs would be a smart choice when it comes to performance, recovery & repair, as well as delivering all the essential amino acids which are the building blocks of muscles. 

Carbs along with protein can also help with better absorption, building and preserving the muscle mass.

Top 5 Right Foods to Eat Before Workouts

1) 100% Whole Wheat Bread or Any Fruit + Peanut Butter (On-the-go)

Bread Slice Fruit with Peanut Butter Pre Workout - Fitness HN
Credits: Photodune

Whole Wheat Bread is a slow digesting complex carbohydrates whereas fruits are simple carbs. Simple carbs are digested quickly by the body which you need it before working out. But guess what? Throwing in some peanut butter can provide you healthy fats and also some proteins.

As peanut butter is calorie-dense food, this will also provide your body with the desired calories. The best part about mixing some peanut butter with bread & fruits is that it’ll keep your blood sugar levels steady. This will provide you steady & sustained energy at the gym throughout your workout session.

This meal can be the best on-the-go meal for the ones who workout early morning after waking up or don’t have much time to prepare any solid pre-workout meal.

 Note: Opt for 100% Peanut Butter which contain no added sugars, hydrogenated oils, and other unhealthy fats. Always check the nutrition label.

2) Whole Eggs + Any Fruit of your Choice

Fruit and Eggs before Workout - Fitness HN

Did you know that the egg yolks contain healthy fats and half of the protein of eggs?

There are numerous benefits of eggs. It’s an egg-cellent food having a perfect combination of proteins + healthy fats. So having any fruit of your choice along with 1-2 whole eggs can be an amazing pre-workout meal. I would prefer an apple, but you can pair any fruit which you enjoy eating – as mentioned.

Bonus Tip: You can also spread some honey on top of the fruit to make it yummier. This will also take care of your sweet-tooth and sugar cravings:) Ones too conscious about calorie count can avoid this. Matter of personal preference.


3) Oatmeal + Protein Shake

Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout - Oatmeal

Having oats isn’t as boring as it’s believed or talked about. And hell no, you don’t necessarily need those exotic blueberries to make it work for you. 

But yes, as I work on the principle of flexibility & sustainability, so definitely make up things interesting that are healthy, and can also be sustained in the long-run.

Oats itself are healthy and slow digesting carbohydrates that will provide you sustained energy. They will keep you super-charged throughout your workout. Protein around your workouts is always a smart choice when it comes to optimum performance & recovery.

Oat meal along with a protein shake can be a heavy and super-filling meal, so it would be better if you at least have it 45mins-1hr before your workout so that your body gets time for it to digest and settle down.

Recipe for a Super Delicious Oat-Meal:

  1. Take 30-40grms of Oats in a bowl and add 200-300ml of Milk.
  2. Add some Almonds, Walnut, Raisins, Cashews, Figs, Peanut Butter (if required) and a pinch of Cinnamon.
  3. Boil it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and BOOM, you’re done!

Bonus Tip: You can also mix all the ingredients in the blender and make it a yummy pre-workout protein smoothie.

4) Egg Idlis or Idli + Protein Shake

Eggs Idli before Workout - Fitness HN

Mash some Idlis along with 1-2 whole eggs, add some sambhar or coconut chutney and BOOOM, your delicious pre-workout meal is ready!

Another alternative for this can be Idli followed by a protein shake before the workout.

5) Protein Shake + Any fruit & Peanut Butter (On-the-go)

Peanut Butter with Apple Best Pre Workout Snack - Fitness HN

Whey protein has the highest bioavailability (even more than eggs) and gets digested & absorbed quickly. Pairing it with any fruit of your choice before workouts would be a cherry-on-the-cake. Just cut the fruit, apply some peanut butter on it, and enjoy it along your shake.

You can also mix them in a blender and make it a yummy smoothie if you’re not short of time. (add some curd)

BONUS: 6) Curd + Some Sugar/Honey + Any fruit in it

As I stated above, it’s all about having a right balance, flexibility, and longevity.

But sugar is bad isn’t? No food item in isolation can be labelled as bad.

As I say, having a single healthy meal won’t make you healthy and having a cheat meal once won’t straight away turn you unhealthy. It’s more about what you eat throughout your day in 24hrs, and over time.

So 5-10grms of sugar before having a killer workout session won’t do any harm if rest of your nutrition is perfect.

Sugar can be replaced with a spoon of honey according to the personal preference.

Recipe for a Mocha-licious Pre-workout Meal

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So these are the 5 best foods to eat before a workout. Just go as per your preferences and with what works best for you. One size doesn’t fits all.

Just slogging at the gym with hardwork alone won’t do much good if you don’t pair it up with the smart work. It’s about making smart choices.

A killer workout session along with a well-structured nutrition can the best and the smartest bet for progressive and optimum results. Transform Now!

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Written by

Hardeep Narula

Hardeep Narula is An Internationally Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach, Founder, Blogger, and A Content Writer