6 Best Pre-workout Snacks


Your best work doesn’t happen on an empty stomach, and when there’s a workout on the horizon, you need to fuel up with gym food that’s not going to leave you feeling heavy or hindered.

The ideal pre-workout food should have two things: simple carbs and a little protein. If you’re wondering what to eat before a workout, here are six great places to start.


1. Oats

Think oats are just for breakfast? Think again! Oats are high in fibre and gradually release carbohydrates, plus they’re a great source of B-group vitamins to give you a constant source of energy. 

Try half a cup of cooked (or bircher-style soaked) oats with a small handful of nuts and fruit no less than 30 minutes before you workout.

2. Bananas

We’ve all seen the ads. Seriously though, bananas really are nature’s energy bar. They’re chock-full of digestible carbs (aka energy!) as well as potassium, which helps maintain nerve and muscle function.

The best thing is you can buddy up banana with any of these other pre-workout snacks. Have it with your oats, on toast, in a shake, with yoghurt… there’s no wrong way to ‘nana.

3. Wholegrain bread

Another contender in the good carb department is wholegrain bread - an A+ option for pre-workout food. What you want to aim for is a high quality carb and protein combo for optimum workout performance, so think about topping your toast with eggs, hummus or turkey.

4. Fruit and Greek yoghurt

By now you should be getting the hang of this: we’re looking for a blissful marriage of good carbs and protein. The fast-acting sugars in fruit will break down quickly enough to power you through your workout, while Greek yoghurt will aid in your post-workout recovery. If you’re not a yoghurt lover, you can always sub it out for cottage cheese.

5. Apple slices with peanut butter

Apple slices smeared with peanut butter are a fantastic natural pre-workout snack and a great way to combat those afternoon sugar cravings, too. Make sure you go for a natural nut butter, which you can even boost with a spoonful of protein powder or yoghurt and cinnamon for something a little different.

6. Protein smoothie

Quickly absorbed and easy to prepare ahead, nothing beats the classic pre-workout shake. Banana, yoghurt, oats, skim milk, protein powder, berries… it’s all good. While you’re at it, why not make double and enjoy Round 2 post-workout? There are no two ways about it: you need to eat after a workout, and a protein-packed smoothie will restore your depleted energy levels plus help your body repair all that awesome work you did in the gym!

Ashton Rigg