Best Pre-Workout Snacks, Their Benefits and Right Time to Eat

Know what should you eat and when should you eat your pre-workout meal?

3 min read
Best Pre-Workout Snacks, Their Benefits and Right Time to Eat

People with busy lifestyles, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts keep looking for ways to enhance their performance and make sure they push themselves every day to achieve their goals.

It is no secret that good nutrition plays an important role here. They can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout. According to US NIH, the right amount of nutrients before and after exercise can make a huge difference to your energy levels and minimize muscle damage as well.

In this article, we will try to know everything important about pre-workout snacks and nutrition. Pre-workout nutrition is important to enhance your performance and provide enough strength and energy to exercise.

Even a macronutrient has a specific role before a workout. However, the amount of each nutrient for a person varies.



Carbs are the fuel for your muscles because the muscles use glucose provided by the carbs consumed.

According to PubMed, glycogen helps the body store glucose, mainly in the liver and muscles. Muscles stores glycogen and uses the energy for short- and high-intensity exercise. The usage of carbs for longer exercises depends on several factors like intensity, type of training, and the overall diet.

Muscles can store a limited amount of glycogen and as these stores become depleted, the output and intensity diminish. According to US NIH, carbs can increase glycogen storage and utilization by boosting carb oxidation during exercise.


Various studies have been conducted to document the use of protein consumption as a part of the pre-workout diet or to improve athletic performance.

According to MedicalNewsToday, consuming protein (alone or with carbs) before a workout increases muscle protein synthesis and has a positive anabolic response when consumed before exercise.

Other benefits of protein as a pre-workout snack include:

  • Better anabolic response, or muscle growth

  • Better muscle recovery

  • Improved strength and lean body mass

  • Increased muscle performance


While glycogen is used for short- but high-intensity exercise, fat is another source of energy for longer and moderate-to-low-intensity exercise.

According to Healthline, fat intake before a workout or athletic activity has a positive effect on performance. These studies were conducted on high-fat diets over a long period. Fat consumption increased endurance in athletic performers. But the body requires more time to digest fat, so it is better to have fat sources hours before a workout.

Right Time to Have a Pre-workout Snack

People who work out regularly must know that the timings of your pre-workout and post-workout meal is also an important aspect of pre-exercise nutrition.

The best pre-workout meal is the one that contains all- carbs, protein, and fats. The best time to eat your pre-workout snack is 2-3 hours before you hit the gym.

But it is not always possible to have a pre-workout meal 3 hours before exercise, another tip is to keep a simple and light pre-workout meal if it is right before your workout. The sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal should be.

If you eat around an hour prior to your workout, choose foods that digest easily and contain mainly carbs and protein. This will prevent any discomfort during the exercise.

Best Pre-workout Snacks 

  1. A sandwich made of whole-grain bread, and lean meat with some salad.

  2. Eggs, toast with avocados, or a fruit bowl

  3. Brown rice with lean protein or veggies.

  4. Protein smoothie with bananas or berries,

  5. Oatmeal with banana and almonds

  6. Whole-grain bread and almond butter

  7. Orange, banana, apple, or berries

  8. Fruits and yogurt

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