Pre-Workout Snacks

flickr: tereza

Yesterday we discussed Tips on Pre-Workout Eating, so today I wanted to give you a few practical examples of the type of snacks you can eat prior to your workout.

Quick pointers to remember…
Foods high in carbohydrate, and low fat will be more easily digested, but fatty meals, or snacks, take longer to empty from the stomach, so are best avoided prior to working out.

Your meal should also contain a moderate amount of protein to satisfy hunger.

Top pre-workout snacks:

  • A small bowl of cereal, or oatmeal, with milk and a banana
  • 1 bagel spread with cottage spread
  • 1/2 cup of nuts and dried fruit
  • Wholegrain crackers with cheese and tomato
  • Fresh fruits, such as an orange, banana, apple, pear, plum
  • Vegetable, or chicken noodle soup
  • 3/4 cup of yogurt with a handful of berries
  • 1 wholegrain English muffin, or toast, with peanut butter/honey/cheese
  • Half a sandwich, with wholegrain bread, salad, and lean meat
  • A smoothie made with milk, and fresh, frozen or canned fruit
  • 3 fig cookies
  • Low fat granola bar
  • Glass of milk, or pure fruit/vegetable juice
  • Raw vegetables with hummus
  • 1 hard boiled egg

It’s important to start refueling as soon as possible after exercise, and depending on the time of day, this may be your next meal, or just a suitable snack, to keep you going until it’s time for your main meal.

Also, try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, as well as during, and after exercise.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and you probably have your own suggestions to add.

I’d love to hear from you too, what snacks do you eat pre-workout, to help keep your energy levels up?

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny May 5, 2008 at 6:53 am

Are fig cookies good for my health? There is 90 calories in just 3 cookies and almost have is fat.
Please can someone advice me!


Melanie May 5, 2008 at 8:18 am

Hi Jenny,

All foods have a certain amount of fat and calories. I’ve merely listed fig cookies as an alternative snack pre-workout.

I don’t encourage them as your only snack option, but as part of a balanced healthy diet they can fit in well.


Jenny May 21, 2008 at 5:47 am

My question is, I have just had to start doing my Cardio before I lift, I have noticed I am fatigued in the middle of my weight lifting sessions, what can I snack on after cardio to get me through. I exercise at 5 am, so I dont eat much first, then go home and have breakfast. Any tips would be appreciated


Melanie May 23, 2008 at 8:32 am

Hi Jenny,

Did you see this article that I had previously written on
Pre-workout Eating?


Regina July 19, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I find that the Kashi Go Lean bars are great before a workout. They have protein, fiber & slow burning carbohydrates that tend to keep me sustained throughout my workout. I try to eat it around an hour before my workout. The Cinnamon Coffee Cake flavor is a favorite. Hope this helps.


Melanie July 27, 2010 at 10:36 am

Hi Regina,
I’ve heard of the Kashi bars, but haven’t tried them. I don’t think we have them here in the UK. Have you ever tried making your own healthy granola bars?


ikerumbus August 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Instead of fig cookies or various protein/energy bars, try dried figs and an orange with couple almonds and small cup of skim milk.

As I grow older (age37), I definitely notice that my body seems to tolerate foods at their natural state better than processed foods even processed foods that are “exercise” foods.


Melanie August 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm

You know what, I totally agree with you — that is becoming my ethos more and more… food close to it’s natural state is the future of “healthy eating.” It’s not about low fat or low carb, etc for me! Thanks for your comment.


Lifting and Cardio October 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce
a good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.


health November 6, 2013 at 8:59 am

Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email.

I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.


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