Pre-workout is the most important meal when it comes to enhancing our athletic performance.
Basically, the main role of pre-workout nutrition is to fuel the workout and maximize your performance. Sounds simple right? Yes, it is.
In this article, we’ll be getting ideas about what to eat before a workout for energy. Whether you’re on muscle building, fat loss, keto, vegan, or looking for morning pre-workout snacks, these 50 awesome snack ideas fit every diet.
So, are you ready to try something different in your pre-workout meals? Let’s try NEW!
What to Eat Before a Workout: 50 Snack Ideas
Like I said before, this meal is to fuel your training session. The important rule is to eat a good amount of carbohydrates and protein along with little healthy fats before your workout.
The ideal intake of carbs and protein will always differ from person to person, what diet you are following, what time of the day you work out, and how much time you have before a workout.
However, eating a small snack (which contains a healthy amount of carbs and protein) about 30-60 minutes before a workout will fuel up your workout session.
Here, we create 50 healthy snack ideas for pre-workout eats, from breakfast options to keto, vegan, muscle-building, and fat-loss snack ideas. Let’s check them out!
Note: You can increase or decrease the food’s quantity according to your diet and fitness goal.
Top 10 Pre-Workout Breakfasts
Check out the top 10 healthy snack ideas for your morning pre-workout meal.
1. Banana and Nuts
Banana is very convenient and one of the best fruits you can consume before a massive workout session. And when you are adding nuts into it, it becomes a complete pre-workout meal.
One to two bananas (depending upon your goal) along with one ounce (28 gram) of nuts give you around 250-350 calories, 6-10 grams of protein with some healthy fats and vitamins.
This meal will provide you with a quick and easy-to-eat option, especially when you’re training in the morning.
2. Hard Boiled Eggs with Avocado Toast
Hard-boiled eggs with avocado toast can be a perfect time-saving and tasty breakfast option that provides a healthy combination of protein, carbs, and fats.
Before 1-1.5 hours, this meal can be a great option to crush your heavy gym workout in the morning. You can check out the recipe here.
3. Peanut Butter Banana Toast with Chia Seeds
Peanut butter banana toast with chia seed is a very convenient recipe that’s what we all want in the morning.
Take 2-slices of whole-grain bread, top it with one tablespoon of natural peanut butter, and put one sliced banana, and 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds between the bread, and your pre-workout sandwich is ready. Have it mindfully, 1-1.5 hours before the gym.
This awesome meal will provide you with a balanced combination of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. And you also get the omega-3 fatty acids by adding chia seeds.
4. Strawberry Parfait with Cottage Cheese
Strawberry parfait with cottage cheese and cereal is a healthy and delicious pre-workout meal, and more importantly, you can make it within 5 minutes.
Have it 1 hour before your morning workout, and you’ll be good to go. Check out the recipe here.
5. Strawberry Peanut Butter with Oatmeal
This is my all-time go-to breakfast option. Oatmeal, strawberry, and peanut butter make a delicious and super healthy breakfast, or you can have it any other time also.
The combination of oats, strawberries, and peanut butter will provide you with a good amount of carbs and protein along with some healthy fats and vitamins.
Eating this meal before your workout can provide the fuel you need for a long-duration workout.
6. Fresh Orange Smoothie
If you want a recipe that can digest quickly in your stomach, the fresh orange smoothie can be a great easy-to-make option.
After drinking this smoothie, it will spike your energy level within 30 minutes. This smoothie can be a great option when we don’t want to eat whole foods. Check out the recipe here.
7. Baked Broccoli, Cheese, and Pepper Omelet
The baked omelet with bacon, broccoli, and red pepper will make your perfect pre-workout breakfast as it is packed with protein with some vitamins and minerals.
If you have a little time, try it out. The recipe is simple but so delicious that you never want to miss it.
8. Oatmeal with Whey Protein
Combining oatmeal with whey protein is one of the best pre-workout breakfasts you can take. You can add some fresh fruits and honey to enhance its taste.
This meal will provide you with a high amount of protein with complex carbs that increase your performance level and helps to avoid muscle breakdown during a workout.
9. Whole Grain Pasta with Eggs
If you have little time on your hand, then you can easily cook the whole grain pasta before your workout but make sure you’re making it healthily.
Combine whole grain pasta with 3-4 eggs, which can provide everything you need in your pre-workout meal.
10. Whole Wheat Chicken Salad Sandwich
A whole wheat chicken salad sandwich can be a great pre-workout breakfast if you are comfortable with chicken in the morning. This sandwich is very tasty and makes it easy and simple as well.
Eating it 1-2 hours before your workout can maintain and boost your energy level during training.
Top 10 Pre-Workout Snacks for Muscle Gain
Try these ten high-protein pre-workout snacks to gain muscle mass.
11. High-Protein Oatmeal
Cook your normal oatmeal and add one scoop of whey protein into it, or you can replace the protein powder with 4-6 egg whites. Finish your recipe by adding fresh fruits to it.
This meal will provide a high amount of protein with healthy carbohydrates, which will help maintain your stamina level throughout your training.
12. Sweet Potato with Vegetables
When it comes to eating healthy carbs, one of the best sources is sweet potatoes and vegetables.
This meal is packed with healthy carbs and a good amount of fiber, protein, and fats, and most importantly, it contains lots of vitamins and minerals.
13. Whey Protein and Fruits Smoothie
When you’re short on time or don’t want to eat whole foods, this is the recipe for you. Consuming smoothies are a great way to get more calories without feeling that heavy.
WATCH: HIGH-PROTEIN PRE-WORKOUT SMOOTHIE RECIPE FOR MUSCLE BUILDING
14. Whole Grain Bread with Banana and Peanut Butter
This is my all-time on-the-go pre-workout recipe. Making a whole grain bread sandwich with banana and peanut butter is a very easy and quick process.
When you want some more calories, add extra slices of bread or banana to meet your required calories. This pre-workout meal will provide a good amount of complex carbs along with protein and healthy fats.
15. Roasted Chickpeas and Watermelon
Roasted chickpeas provide a good amount of carbs and protein, and adding watermelon in your pre-workout will boost up your muscle pump during training.
Watermelon is my favorite fruit before a workout because eating watermelon 30 minutes before training provides an insane contraction on hardworking muscles.
16. Bananas with Boiled Egg
This is a very simple and quick recipe. Boil your desired number of eggs (or one whole and four egg whites) and have it with a banana. Want more calories? Add the number of bananas, and you’ll be good to go.
Banana helps you reach your carbohydrate intake, while eggs provide you with a good amount of protein, reducing muscle breakdown during the workout.
17. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
Greek yogurt chicken salad is a healthy twist on your pre-workout meal. This recipe provides you with a high amount of protein, medium carbs, and low fats.
Try this tasty recipe and have it 1-1.5 hours before your training.
18. Rice Cake with Almond Butter
This is a very simple yet on-the-go recipe. Take your desired number of rice cakes, spread almond butter (peanut butter) on a rice cake, and enjoy.
Rice cake with almond butter is a great pre-workout snack option. It provides around 150-200 calories and 10-15 gram carbs and some protein and healthy fats.
19. Apple, Peanut Butter, and Raisins Sandwich
Apple, peanut butter, and raisins sandwich is a great muscle-building snack option that you can have 1 hour before a workout.
This recipe is very simple and quick to prepare and will provide enough nutrients and help fulfill your pre-workout hunger for around one hour.
20. Avocado Toast with Cottage Cheese
This meal is packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats — perfect for a busy schedule or as a quick muscle-building snack.
Top 10 Pre-Workout Snacks for Weight Loss
21. Green Apple
Green apple is an excellent weight loss aid. Green apples contain very low fat and carbohydrate — an ideal pre-workout snack for weight loss.
The high fiber content in green apples also helps you to prevent hunger for a few hours. Don’t cook or heat apples because some nutrients can be missing. Fresh raw green apple is perfect.
22. Red Bell Pepper with Guacamole
Red bell paper with guacamole is a delicious and filling dish you should definitely try for your pre-workout snack.
This snack recipe is packed with vitamins and minerals and provides a good amount of fiber and protein along with little carbs and healthy fats.
23. Fruit Smoothie
A fruit smoothie is a very simple but so delicious quick option before a workout. When you’re on a fat-loss diet, a fruit smoothie can be a great snack option, and you can have it any time of the day.
Fruit smoothies are packed with lots of fiber and vitamins, and their carbohydrate content helps you to keep moving throughout the workout. Your recipe is here.
24. Mixed Nuts
Although nuts are high in fat and calories, they are incredibly healthy and not causes weight gain. Regular consumption of mixed nuts may even help you to lose weight.
The mix of almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts can be a great pre-workout snack as they’re full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Quinoa is a rich source of fiber and protein and has a low glycemic index — both are linked to fat loss.
Due to its high-fiber content, it will satisfy your pre-workout hunger and provide enough energy for your intensive workout moves.
WATCH: HEALTHY QUINOA RECIPE FOR WEIGHT LOSS
26. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent pre-workout snack option that increases your performance during a workout and helps to reduce muscle protein breakdown.
Eat one whole with 4-5 hard-boiled egg whites, 45-60 minutes before your workout, and you’ll be good to go. This meal will provide you with about 20-25 grams of protein and 5-gram fat.
27. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber which aids in weight loss. Eating sweet potatoes as a snack is a great option that makes you feel fuller and prevents overeating.
Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbs and dietary fiber, and eating them before exercise will increase and maintain your performance level throughout training.
28. Whey Protein Shake
When you’re on a weight loss diet, a protein shake is a lifesaving. Taking one scoop of whey protein 30 minutes before a workout can significantly boost your performance level.
Take one scoop of whey protein, low-fat milk or Greek yogurt, and some fresh fruits (like strawberries, banana, mangoes, melon, etc.), put them into the mixer, blend them well, and enjoy.
29. Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries
Greek yogurt with mixed barriers is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, and all of them are linked to weight loss.
The Greek yogurt with mixed berries recipe is very simple, but it’s so delicious. Eating this snack 1 hour before you work out is a great way to enhance your energy level.
30. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
Apple with peanut butter is a rich source of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. You can have this meal before you work out to fuel up your body.
This is a very quick and easy-to-prepare snack option. All you need to do is core and slice the apple into wedges, spread peanut butter among the slices, and enjoy.
Top 10 Pre-Workout Keto Snacks
Try these ten awesome pre-workout snacks when you’re on a keto diet.
31. Avocado Egg Salad
Avocado egg salad is an excellent snack packed with high protein, fiber, and healthy fat, making it perfect for your pre-workout snack.
This avocado egg salad is one of the most delicious recipes, especially when you’re on a keto diet.
32. Keto Fat Bombs
Keto fat bombs are a great snack option for those following a keto diet. It makes us energetic and feels full for a long time.
Generally, one to three fat bombs are sufficient before a gym workout and keep you moving during your training. Check out the keto fat bomb recipes here.
33. Keto Bars
Keto bars are a very convenient and easy-to-go option. Keto bars can be a great pre-workout snack option for those who follow the keto lifestyle.
The keto bars have a wholesome amount of ingredients and a good amount of fat to maintain ketosis, protein, and carbs that provide you with energy during workouts.
34. Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
This is another on-the-go snack option. You can have Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as your pre-workout meal.
One cup of cottage cheese contains about 160 calories with 24 grams of protein, while Greek yogurt provides 120 calories with under 20 grams. You can consume them one by one on alternative days.
35. Fresh Berries
When you’re on a keto lifestyle, berries are one of the best and easy snack options. Fresh barriers are rich sources of fiber and have some carbohydrates that fuel up your workout session.
You can mix different berries or take one type of berries as your pre-workout snack, and you are good to go for the training.
36. Keto-Friendly Pre-Workouts
If you’re fine with supplements, then a keto-friendly pre-workout can significantly boost your performance and helps to achieve a power-packed training session.
37. Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie
Strawberry yogurt smoothie is a great liquid pre-workout option that combines high protein and fiber — both the ingredients are responsible for a powerful workout session.
This is a very simple, easy, and healthy drink that you can consume any time of the day. Check out the healthy recipe here.
38. Nutty Homemade Protein Bars
No product can substitute a homemade product. The nutty homemade protein bar is one of the most healthy and delicious ones.
Eating nutty protein bars will provide you with a high amount of protein and healthy fat — both the macronutrients can help increase your performance. Your healthy recipe is here.
39. Mango Smoothie
The mango smoothies, especially in summer, are just incredible. The easy and delicious mango smoothies are an excellent keto drink you can consume 30 minutes before hitting the gym.
This smoothie provides a good amount of fiber and carbs that can fuel our workout.
Take two cups of mango with three bananas (or you can replace banana with strawberry or papaya) and add Greek yogurt, almonds, honey, and ice cubes into a mixer. Blend them all and enjoy your cooler mongo smoothie.
40. Watermelon Smoothie Cooler
Watermelon smoothie is one of my favorite pre-workout smoothies of all time. Consuming this drink before a workout will give an insane amount of muscle pump and contraction during training.
Smoothie recipe: Put the desired amount of watermelon in the mixer with ice cubes, honey, and spearmint leaves, and blend them well and enjoy your cooler watermelon smoothie.
Top 10 Pre-Workout Vegan Snacks
It isn’t easy to take enough protein from the vegan diet. That’s why a vegan protein powder can be very handy for your healthy lifestyle.
Here we come up with ten awesome pre-workout snack ideas for the vegan lifestyle.
41. Vegan Protein Banana Shake
The protein banana shake is one of the easiest ways to get a high amount of protein on a vegan diet. Taking this smoothie 30 minutes before a workout will boost your performance.
All you need in this recipe is unsweetened non-dairy milk, frozen banana, vegan protein powder, and ice cubes. Blend them all in the mixer and enjoy your cooler vegan shake.
42. Low-Fat Muesli with Soy and Coconut Yogurt
Low-fat muesli with soy and coconut yogurt is a delicious snack packed with high protein and carbs — both nutrients are greatly responsible for a massive workout session.
Taking it 60 minutes before a workout can increase our performance level and helps us to get a large number of calories in one bowl. Check out the healthy vegan recipe here.
43. Fruit Smoothie with Soy Milk
Fruit smoothie with soy milk smoothie is packed full of protein, fiber, and carbs, which means it has everything we need before a tough workout.
The ingredients you need are mixed berries, banana, soy milk, honey, coconut yogurt, and vegan protein powder (optional). Blend all together in the mixer and enjoy.
44. Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas is packed with fiber and a good amount of protein and carbs. When following a vegan diet, roasted chickpeas can be a great pre-workout snack option.
All you need to do is take a half-cup of chickpeas and eat them 60 minutes before workout. Then, you can add some fruits along with roasted chickpeas to increase your calorie intake.
45. Fruit and Nut Butter
Fruit and nut butter combination will provide you with a high amount of fiber, protein, and carbs — the nutrients we need before a workout to increase our performance.
You can combine the cashews with strawberries, mango, and peanut butter, black cherry, and almonds. Put any of the combinations into the mixer and blend them until they become a creamy form. You can add honey to enhance its taste.
46. Rice Cakes and Avocado
Avocado on rice cake can be a delicious and healthy pre-workout snack as it contains a good amount of carbs, fiber, healthy fats, and protein.
This is a quick and easy plant-based snack option. Eating it 60 minutes before a workout can help to keep you moving during an intensive workout. Check the recipe here.
47. Hummus with Fresh Veggies
Hummus with veggies is super nutritious and packed with plant-based protein along with fiber, carbs, and healthy fats — a perfect vegan pre-workout meal.
WATCH: HUMMUS WITH FRESH VEGGIES RECIPE
48. Fruit and Veggie Smoothie
Fruit and veggie smoothies are loaded with fiber and other important nutrients that enhance our overall health.
The smoothie with fruits and veggies can be a great pre-workout drink to fuel your workout. Check out the healthy smoothie recipe here.
49. Protein Bar
Looking for a quick high-protein meal? Grab a protein bar, and you’re good to go.
The protein bar is a convenient way to get carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals into your diet. In addition, eating a protein bar before a workout can significantly improve your endurance and stamina level during training.
50. Almond Honey with Popcorn
Almond, and honey with popcorn are some of the most delicious snack options you can consume as your pre-workout meal.
This snack provides you with a good amount of carbs and healthy fats along with protein and vitamins — a healthy and balanced pre-workout snack for vegans. Here is your healthy recipe.
I hope you get an extensive number of ideas about what to eat before a workout and get different types of snack options to try anytime you want, no matter your diet and fitness goal.
Now, it’s time to try these healthy yet delicious recipes yourself (before workout) and hit the gym like a beast! 😉
So, which recipes you’ve already tried and which ones you’re excited to try? Let us know in the comments section below! We love to hear from you!