What to Eat Before a Workout – A Simple Guide

Unless you’re a nutritionist or a fitness buff who’s done a lot of reading, it’s tough to know what to eat before a workout. It’s even harder to know what to eat before what kind of workout you’re doing. More protein before strength training? Carbs before a run? Read on if you want to know just what snacks suit your favourite workout!

Protein Shake/Smoothie

Great for: High Intensity Yoga
If you’ve got your leggings on and are heading to a Vinyasa or Ashtanga class, chuck a homemade protein shake or smoothie into your gym bag before you head out. Protein shakes are great for yoga – the calcium aids in muscle contraction, and the protein will fuel you through to the end of a sweaty yoga session. When it comes to smoothies (and most edible things in fact) homemade is best – you can control whether your shake contains dairy and change up the fruits you include to keep it exciting. Try our simple Protein Shake guide if you’re lost on where to start!

Apple Slices with Peanut Butter

Great for: Short Runs
This snack is super quick and easy for when you’re just heading out for a short jog or sprint. The lightness of the apple means you won’t feel bloated and will provide some short-term energy. As for the peanut butter, feel free to interchange it with any other nut butter – they’re full of antioxidants and heart-healthy fats (not to mention they taste ah-mazing!) For longer runs try a high protein energy bar, you’ll want a fast and extended form of energy over long distances.

Homemade Energy Balls

Great for: HIIT
These little balls of sunshine will quickly fuel you up before any workout – especially a quick HIIT session! Energy balls can contain anything you like – chocolate, raisins, oatmeal, nut butter and oatmeal. All guaranteed to give you a great boost of energy you’ll need for some high-intensity training! Try this recipe for a simple, no-bake energy ball you can whip up in no time.

Oatmeal/Oat Bars

Great for: Strength training
But… carbs go hand-in-hand with cardio? They’re also needed for strength training! You need a good stock of carbs to push your muscles to their max during a session. Try a bowl of oatmeal or even a homemade oatmeal bar – avoid those from off the shelf, too much sugar with give you cramps (and cavities!)

Greek Yoghurt with Fruit

Great for: Pilates
Protein-packed Greek yoghurt will keep you satisfied through a long pilates session. Try mixing it with bananas (nature’s energy bar!) or a mixture of berries for an antioxidant boost. The lightness of the yoghurt and berries won’t bog you down as carbs would, so it’s perfect for getting your pilates on!

Now you know the perfect snacks to chow down on before different kinds of workouts, a quick reminder on what to avoid! Try to create your own snacks at home – that way you can avoid fatty foods (which will make you sluggish), or sugar-rich foods (no-one likes a sugar crash mid-workout!)