10 Best Pre-Workout Meals

10 Best Pre-Workout MealsA pre-workout meal is something that can make or break a workout.  If you eat too much prior to your workout, you could be sluggish and tired throughout.  In contrast, a light, lean, and well-designed pre-workout meal can really fuel your body to reach the next level in your program so you can reach your goals.

Your workout program should dictate how you eat prior to exercising.  Are you an avid runner?  Perform functional exercises?  Depending on your goals and program, you will want to gear your pre-workout meal towards your style of exercise.  Listed below are 10 of the best pre-workout meals along with the type of exercise it is best for.

10 Pre-Workout Meals for Great Results

  1. Whole Oats. Many individuals would rather exercise in the morning than later in the day, which is why your first meal of the day will be important.  Your breakfast will serve as your pre-workout meal and it all starts with fresh, whole oats.  Whole oats contain fiber, B vitamins, and some protein.  This combination is perfect for runners or those who lift weights because oats slowly release carbohydrates in the blood, giving a slow-releasing energy source, but be cautious as to not eat too much so that you overload on fiber.  Have a cup of whole oats about 45 minutes prior to your run or lifting to help fuel your workout in a great way.
  2. Cooked Eggs with 100% Whole Wheat Toast. Starting your day off with this meal will add generous protein and ample carbs to fuel your day and workout.  Eat no more than two slices of bread, light butter (if you like), and a light spread of jam to make this a flavorful meal for your workout.  Individuals lifting weights will want to have this about 30-45 minutes before the workout.
  3. Yogurt Parfait with Fruit and Granola. Fruit is a perfect way to provide sugar in the body to fuel a workout.  The yogurt will provide protein to the working cells for recovery and rebuilding of muscles.  And lastly, the granola will add slow release fuel, perfect for your early morning run, jog, and weights day.
  4. Protein Shake. While it is not a large meal, a protein shake is great for your pre-workout meal.  Add some fresh berries or one of your favorite fruits to add carbohydrate for your workout.  A pre-workout shake with protein can be a way to supplement your muscles during the hard lift days.  With sufficient protein available, your muscles have a better opportunity to recover quicker, which leads to better gains.
  5. Salmon and Rice. Rice provides a great source of carbohydrates for your workout.  In addition, the salmon provides protein and healthy fats, which is an ideal combination for your run.  If you run after work, consider eating this as a snack an hour before the run or as your midday lunch meal.
  6. Sweet Potatoes and a Lean Protein. Potatoes are a starchy carbohydrate that provides slow-release energy, perfect for your run later in the day.  Rather than fast-releasing sugars you get from soda, chips, candy, and other foods, a medium sized potato will provide energy during your run and will keep you energized throughout.
  7. Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus. This is a great meal to eat before your midday workout.  Loaded with protein and for rebuilding muscles and sufficient low glycemic index foods, this meal is perfect for your cardio workout or if you are looking to have a high-intensity day.
  8. Southwest Chicken Salad. Follow along with this recipe for a great meal you can eat at lunch that will have you energized and ready for a tough workout.  Skimp on the mozzarella and the dressing is optional in this case.  Eat this before your afternoon cardio and eat it prior to your weight lifting program to stay lean and fit.
  9. Whole Wheat Pasta and Chicken with Olive Oil. Ok so pasta can lead to sluggishness after eating it, so be cautious of your serving size.  Aim to consume no more than one and a half standard serving sizes of pasta (300 total calories) and make sure the pasta is whole wheat.  In addition, add in some grilled chicken and lightly drizzle it with olive oil.  This is a great runner’s pre-meal for energy that is determined to last.  Eat this for your long cardio days that last about 60 minutes or more.
  10. Tuna Burgers. Using either canned or fresh tuna, this is a great option for individuals wanting to build muscle and stay thin.  This recipe can be utilized with lettuce for a low-carb option, but a light carbohydrate bun could help fuel your workout.



[1] http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/best-pre-workout-foods?page=2

[2] http://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/gain-mass/8-tips-improve-your-pre-workout-meal/slide/6

[3] http://www.cookingforkeeps.com/2013/04/24/southwest-chicken-salad-with-healthy-avocado-buttermilk-dressing/

[4] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/docs/2013/the_tuna_burgers.pdf


About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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