It’s not a good idea to exercise on an empty stomach. A exercise might be derailed by bloating, cramps, and the need to snooze and digest. 1 However, if your stomach is grumbling and you are feeling weak from not eating in hours, you may not be able to perform at your best. Learn why a healthy pre-workout snack is so important, as well as some of the finest things to consume before a workout.
What Makes a Good Pre-Workout Snack?
The key to eating before working out is to ensure that you have enough energy to power your workout without overindulging and ingesting unneeded calories. You may feel lightheaded or weak if you don’t eat anything, which might interfere with your workout or possibly lead to damage. While many individuals can work out on an empty stomach, this is not the case for everyone. Make careful to analyse your individual needs before working out to see if you require a snack.
Most people have enough glycogen stored in their bodies to get through a 90-minute workout without eating anything additional. This implies that most workouts may be completed with just water. However, running out of glycogen, the fuel that keeps muscles contracting, puts you at danger of bonking or hitting the wall, which results in weakness, disorientation, and exhaustion.
Typical exercisers are unlikely to hit the wall. Long-distance endurance athletes, such as marathon runners or cyclists, are more prone to encounter the bonk. 3 Before an athlete is at risk, it generally takes several hours of continuous high-intensity endurance training. It’s critical to acquire enough nourishment and fluids before exercising to avoid bonking.
After a full meal, it’s best to wait 2–3 hours before exercising. Wait 30–60 minutes before doing out if you prefer to eat a pre-workout snack. To avoid cramping or stomach discomfort, choose easy-to-digest meals like carbs and a modest quantity of protein.
Good Pre-Workout Snack Ideas
There are certain pre-workout snacks that are more beneficial than others if you haven’t eaten in many hours and want something to consume approximately an hour before you exercise. Before you go to the gym, try one of these snack options.
The closer your training time approaches, the less solid food you should eat. A pre-workout smoothie could be the answer. A nutritious and enjoyable pre-workout snack may be made by blending 1/2 banana, a handful of berries, 2 tablespoons protein powder, a few handfuls of kale, and 1–2 cups water in a blender.
A glass of pure coconut water is one of the most refreshing pre-workout refreshments. It’s high in easily digestible carbohydrates as well as minerals like potassium.
Almond Butter and Apples
An apple with almond butter on top is a satisfying and delicious snack that’s high in carbs, protein, and healthy fats. Although it takes longer to digest than a fruit smoothie or coconut water, many individuals find it to be a convenient pre-workout snack.
Fresh Berries and Cottage Cheese
For a quick and easy snack on the go, combine fresh berries with cottage cheese or yoghurt. This will take a little longer to digest, but it will help you push through a longer workout and prevent hunger until you can have a good post-workout meal.
Hard Boiled Egg and Toast
A hard-boiled egg on whole-grain bread is a quick and satisfying snack. It’s also a back-to-basics snack that’s both cheap and simple to make.
Chocolate milk is commonly suggested by sports nutritionists because it provides the right balance of carbs and protein to help repair muscle damage after a hard workout. 4 It may also be used as a nice yet easy pre-workout snack.
Do You Need a Pre-Workout Snack?
It’s not necessary to eat before a quick workout. There are many solid reasons to avoid eating before a workout, and if you consume three normal meals and a couple snacks a day, you generally don’t need to worry about adding another food before a workout.
If you have a strange eating pattern, skip meals, or are a committed athlete in peak training, you may need to be more conscious of what and when you eat before exercising.
Before you consume extra, unneeded pre-workout calories just because you’ve heard it’s vital to eat something before exercise, take a careful look at your daily routine, eating habits, and meal patterns.
A Word From Verywell
A healthy pre-workout food can help you fuel your session, but it isn’t always required. It’s vital to remember that overall nutrition is equally vital. You’ll have enough of energy to be healthy and go the distance if you focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of protein, carbs, and healthy fats from nutrient-dense, whole foods. It’s also important to remember to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water to replenish any fluids lost throughout your workout.