Pre-Workout Diet Plan: What To Eat Before A Workout

Neha Ghosh

Just as having a morning breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, pre-workout foods are equally important. There are many who don't know what to eat before a workout. In this article, we will throw light on what foods to eat before a workout.

Fuelling your body before a workout is utmost important. To help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout, you should make sure that your body has enough fuel to do so.

This can be done by eating the right kind of foods with plenty of nutrients like carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals [1].

1. Bananas

Bananas are a good source of carbohydrates and protein that will provide your body with usable fuel for a workout. It also contains potassium that will aid in muscle and nerve function. A study showed that cyclists who consumed a banana or a pear and water had a 50% faster recovery time compared to those who consumed only water [2].

2. Oats

Oats are packed with fibre, carbohydrates and protein which provide your body with energy during a workout. Oats contain B vitamins that help convert carbohydrates into energy. Oatmeal with fruits and nuts is an ideal pre-workout food for people who do a lot of cardio workouts.

3. Whole grain bread

A slice of whole grain bread is a good source of carbohydrates. You can have whole grain bread with hard-boiled eggs for added protein 45 minutes before you start working out [3].

4. Fruit smoothies

Fruit smoothies are an amazing pre-workout food because they contain various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fruit smoothies also can be rapidly digested because they have the combination of simple and complex carbohydrates to give you energy before a workout [4].

5. Eggs

Most people believe that egg yolks contain fat which shouldn't be eaten. But it's a wrong belief as a study says that egg yolks contain protein along with other important nutrients that are not found in egg whites. Consuming egg yolks before exercise helps in boosting the body's ability to utilize the protein in the muscles [5].

6. Fruit and yogurt

Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and Greek yogurt is packed with significant amounts of protein. Eating fruits with yogurt will not only fuel your body but also supply carbohydrates to the body. The protein in yogurt will prevent muscle damage and aid in muscle recovery.

7. Chicken breast

If you are planning to eat something filling before a workout, you can opt for chicken breast. You can either grill it or add it in your salad. Chicken breast consists of high-quality protein which is required for building muscles [6].

8. Dried fruits

Dried fruits are also a great option to eat before a workout. It is because dried fruits are so light and they are filled with simple carbohydrates that will provide your body with instant energy without weighing you down. You can have dried apricots, berries, figs and pineapple.

9. Avocado salad

Avocado has high levels of oleic acid that helps with cellular repair. If you consume avocados before a workout, it will reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, it is also high in fibre and healthy fats that will keep you full and not hungry while working out [7].

What Should Be The Time Gap Between Pre-Workout Meal And Your Workout

The timing of your meal before an exercise is crucial. To reap most of the benefits during the workout training, try to eat a meal containing carbohydrates, protein and fat 2-3 hours before you exercise [8].

In case if you don't have that much time, eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates and protein at least 45 - 60 minutes before your workout.

Pre-Workout Diet Plan

2-3 hours prior to your workout

  • Lean protein, brown rice and roasted vegetables
  • Sandwich made with whole-grain bread, lean protein and side salad
  • Egg omelette and whole-grain toast with avocado spread and a cup of fruit.

2 hours prior to your workout

  • Whole-grain cereal and milk
  • A cup of oatmeal topped with fruits or dried fruits
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Sandwich made with whole-grain bread

1 hour or less prior to your workout

  • Greek yougurt and fruit
  • A bowl of fruit

To Conclude...

Fuel your body with the right amount of nutrients before a workout and eat your meal at least 2-3 hours before a workout. Choose foods that are easy to digest, especially when your exercise in 1 hour or less to avoid stomach discomfort.

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