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Pre-Workout Meals and Snacks Print

What To Eat Before A Workout

 

Struggling with energy during your workouts? Wondering if you need supplements or pre-workout drinks?
Banana apple and granola snack
I asked the after-work regulars at my gym the question: “What did you eat before you came to workout?”

The answers were so varied! I heard: “a handful of nuts”, “some chips”, “a banana”, “nothing”, and the classic, “pre-workout supplement drink of course!”

Most of these gym goers I spoke to were at the gym to do strength training and/or use the cardio equipment. No one was actively training for a competition or a specific sporting event, but these were all people who came to the gym on a regular basis and work hard to see improvements in whatever area they are focusing on. I have also heard a lot of complaints from these people about poor energy in their workouts…

I started thinking that maybe it is time to make these workouts feel better!

First of all, if you already feel like everything is working well for you, then stop reading. Keep doing what you are doing. I am so glad you are feeling good!

If you are not, then here are a few simple tips.

Have Pre-Workout Meal and Snack Strategies

 

  1. Make sure you drink enough water during the day! Yes, drink water at work alongside your coffee. If you area dehydrated before you even start your workout, you will not get the most out of that gym session. Need some ideas? Check out this previous blog post: Hydration tips if you struggle to drink enough water
  2. If you are an after-work or evening gym goer, you will likely need an afternoon snack of some sort so that you have energy to get you through to your workout. I recommend a more substantial snack if you have a few hours before the gym. Some examples could be: crackers and hummus, an apple and peanut butter, half a sandwich, or a muffin with a piece of cheese.
  3. If you are feeling low energy or hungry heading to your workout, or if it has been more that 3 hours since you ate lunch or a partnered snack containing both carbs and protein, then grab a simple easy carbohydrate filled snack. Carbs have such a bad reputation in our culture, but they are necessary for good energy in your workouts! Carbohydrates will be digested and absorbed by your body quicker than protein or fats, which means they will top up the energy stores in your muscles in time to have a more powerful workout.

10 Quick Carbohydrate Filled Snacks:

Banana apple and granola snack pinterest pin

  • A piece of fruit such as a banana or apple
  • Animal crackers or arrowroot cookies
  • A juice box
  • A simple chewy granola bar
  • Fruit snacks or Jujubes (Yes, I said jujubes as in the candy!)
    Read more about the science of sugar here
  • Fig bars or Fig Newtons
  • Dried fruit such as raisins, mangoes or dried cranberries
  • Handful of roasted chickpeas or lentils
  • 1/2 a PB & J sandwich
  • Handful of crackers or pretzels

 

I like to have some fun with my pre-workout snack, and I hope you will too! We do not have to choose the “perfect” thing, but rather something that we like and that will give us an energy boost.

 

What is your favorite pre-workout meal or snack? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for more sports nutrition advice?

Check out these previous articles on our blog:

What to eat after a workout
3 Tips for improving body confidence
Runners diarrhea and other digestive issues during exercise

Contact us for sports nutrition help!

For more information about our Calgary nutrition counselling services and virtual nutrition coaching with our experienced Registered Dietitian team visit: NUTRITION COUNSELING or Contact Us.

 

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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