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What to Eat Before a Workout

Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem

2 min read

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A good pre-workout meal provides your body with the nutrition it needs to perform better and recover faster after a workout by supplying you with strength and energy. This will help you reach your fitness goals. Apart from maximizing your performance during workouts, adequate nutrition intake before exercising will help minimize muscle damage. In fact many experts have said that working out on an empty stomach can do more harm than good and may even result in dizziness due to low blood sugar. So eating before a workout is essential to making it count. Here are some pre-workout meal ideas for you:

1- Bananas:

Bananas are a great source of simple carbohydrates, natural sugars, and potassium. Potassium is stored in the body for a limited period of time so it is recommended you eat a banana 30 to 60 minutes before a workout.  Bananas are a perfect pre-workout meal to that increase blood sugar levels and boost your glycogen stores. Not only that, they are also easy to eat on the go and require almost no preperation.

2- Yogurt And Dried Fruit:

Dried fruit is calorie dense and high in sugar. It is a great pre-workout snack as it is a good source of simple sugar. You can have some yogurt with the dried fruits to provide your body with protein before the workout. It is recommended that you have this snack 1 to 1.5 hours before a workout. Since dry fruits are rich in glycogen as well as carbohydrates, they also boost muscle growth and fuel your movement. This makes the workout much more effective. This is ideal for people who don’t want a heavy snack but still want all the nutrients.

3- Fruit Smoothies:

Smoothies are a good source of beneficial micro nutrients and are full of natural sugars like fructose. They are also high in calories which makes them suitable for a pre-workout snack. Note however that since these smoothies are calorie-dense they are not to be consumed as a mere drink but are in fact a meal replacement. Having a fruit smoothie before a workout will provide your body with glucose and keep you energized throughout your workout session. Another huge benefit of going with a smoothie is that these are entirely customizable so you can make changes to yours to make it taste better, just make sure to keep it healthy.

4- Oatmeal And Porridge:

Porridge and oatmeal contain complex carbohydrates and are a great source of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber. These are both low calorie foods that help muscle growth via amino acids. Making them a very healthy meal for almost anyone who is trying to get into shape. Consumption of oats 2 hours before a workout will not only keep the hunger pangs away during the workouts but also provide slow-releasing energy.

5- Omelets:

Eggs are rich in protein and amino acids and making an omelet will let you gain the benefits of eggs and whatever else you decide to add to it. This makes an omelet an incredibly versatile meal that can fit into nearly any kind of diet plan with enough modification. Adding meat to an omelet will let you double down on protien for more muscle growth, while adding green vegetables will increase your fiber intake. Your omelet will depend on what you’re trying to get out of your workout. Have an omelet 2 to 3 hours before a workout to promote muscle growth.

6- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich:

Perhaps the tastiest option on this list, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is easy to make and is a good source of sugar and proteins. You only need a small sandwich to meet all your pre workout needs so make sure not to eat too much. The peanut butter adds the protien, the jelly brings the sugar and the bread adds the carbs that are so essential to a pre workout meal. Make sure to have this just one hour before working out.

It is important to also be mindful of foods that can sabotage your workout to avoid them as a pre-workout snack. The main reason to eat before a workout is to fuel your exercise and to remain hydrated. If you over-eat, blood will be redirected to your digestive system instead of your muscles, slowing you down. Thus your pre-workout meal should not exceed 200 calories, especially if your goal is to lose weight. Avoid consuming heavy carbs, carbonated beverages, sports drinks, caffeine, beans, avocados, salads, cauliflower, and artificial sweeteners before a workout.

You can consult a nutritionist to find out exactly what to eat prior to your workouts. You can find and book an appointment with top Nutritionists in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem - Author Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem is a Nutritionist practicing in Lahore. Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem has the following degrees: BSc. (Home Economics), MSc. (Food And Nutrition), PGDD, M.Phil (Public Health) and has 5 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button.
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