Perfect pre-workout snacks to maximise your input and results
The ultimate pre-workout snack should make sure you have enough energy for your session, as well as minimising protein muscle breakdown and maximising protein muscle synthesis. You also need to take into account making sure it is something light that is easily digested, so you don’t feel sick during your workout.
“The best way to do this is to consume a low fat pre-work out meal or snack that provides both carbohydrate and a source of high quality protein 1 to 4 hours before you train (1 hour for a light snack; 3-4 hours for a large meal),” says dietician Sheri Barke, who specialises in sports dietetics.
This is because carbohydrates are digested fast, providing almost instant energy and assisting with stabilising blood sugar balance for exercise. “If it’s been a while since your last meal or snack, your blood sugar may be a little low and you may feel light-headed, weak, and grouchy if you don’t eat - not a good combination for a strong workout!” says Barke. “Protein provides essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscle repair and growth during (and after) resistance training.”
On the other hand, fats take too much time to be digested and therefore consuming a high fat meal before exercise can make you feel nauseous and cause intestinal upsets during your workout.
Here are 5 pre-workout snacks to chow down on before your next strength training session:
These healthy options contain both carbohydrates and a small amount of protein, making them perfect to consume before your workout.
Green smoothie – natural fruit sugars provide a quick release of energy, while adding a superfood greens product that contains algae, such as spirulina or chlorella, adds a plant-based protein component. Try our FIT Green and Detox Smoothies, which are our favourite pre-workout blends. You can also purchase Amazonia Raw Prebiotic Greens and Passion Projects Greens in store to add to your own smoothies.
Apple slices with 1 tbsp. nut butter and cinnamon – provides fibre, carbohydrates and protein from the nut butter, which also makes it lower GI. Almond butter is our favourite, finished with a sprinkle of cinnamon to support blood sugar balance.
2 brown rice cakes topped hard boiled egg and sliced tomato
This combination is delicious and easy to prepare if you keep some hard-boiled eggs on hand in the fridge, providing an excellent mix of good carbohydrates and quality protein.
A slice of wholegrain toast topped with hummus and cucumber
A great option for vegans! Opt for a gluten-free sprouted loaf, made with grains such as buckwheat and quinoa for extra points.
Coconut yoghurt / Organic yoghurt topped with berries or sliced banana and a tablespoon of oats
This snack hits the spot and will give you the energy you need you’re your workout from the fruit and oats, while the yoghurt provides some satiating and muscle-loving protein. You can also substitute the oats for gluten free muesli, but make sure it doesn’t contain any added sugar.