October 1st, 2013

5 Healthy Foods to Eat Before a Workout

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Groovy Green Livin Workout

My workouts generally happen first thing in the morning. If it doesn’t happen then it generally doesn’t happen at all.

For many years I never ate anything before a workout. I would exercise hard and then need to eat large quantities of food. I was starving! Within the past year I started to experiment with eating small amounts an hour or so before and I’m finding that I’m not as famished.

The ideal pre-exercise meal should include foods that are high in carbohydrates and protein and low in fat and fiber. It’s also important to drink water a few hours before exercising and throughout your workout. I still need to work on this.

Here are a few of my favorite foods to eat before my run or visit to the gym.


Groovy Green Livin workout

Oatmeal is a great option before a workout. Your body can generally tolerate it well and it provides a boost of energy. Add fruit and nuts to make it the perfect pre-exercise food.


Groovy Green Livin Workout

Grab a banana before you head to they gym. They’re filled with natural sugar and are considered a carb. Your body relies on carbohydrates for energy and fuel.

Power Smoothie with Chia Seeds

Groovy Green Livin Workout

Chia seeds are all the rage and they’re a perfect pre-workout addition to your smoothie. I like to blend frozen organic strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and apple juice with a teaspoon of chia seeds and a handful of frozen spinach. They’re great for pre-workout snack since they are easily digested.


Groovy Green Livin workout

Eat an orange before you exercise. Oranges are a quick energy source and they’ll help keep you hydrated.

Slice of Whole Grain Bread Before a Workout

Groovy Green Livin workout

Cut yourself a slice of whole grain bread for some good carbohydrates before your workout. Top it with some peanut butter or another nut butter to add protein. Make sure you eat well before you exercise.

What do you eat before your workout?

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17 Responses to “5 Healthy Foods to Eat Before a Workout”

  1. I like to drink a mixed vegetable juice or a green smoothie with flaxseeds, hemp seeds and/or chia seeds before workouts. I also drink lots of water. I don’t like to feel full before working out.
    Deborah Davis recently posted..Finer than Wine: 10 Delicious Beet Juice & Smoothie RecipesMy Profile

  2. I love just a whole grain piece of toast with peanut or almond butter.

  3. Love all of these ideas! I often eat oatmeal before a workout or a whole wheat english muffin with peanut(Or almond)butter.
    Cathy recently posted..Teaching Kids Gratitude & The Power of a Thank YouMy Profile

  4. I eat nuts or a smoothie. Carbs and I don’t get along even if they are complex carbs.
    Anna@Green Talk recently posted..Best Way to Peel PeachesMy Profile

  5. I add nuts to my smoothie Anna. Unfortunately I eat a lot of carbs too.

  6. Thanks Cathy. I love oatmeal when I have time to make it before heading out. IMO peanut better makes everything taste delicious!

  7. Me too Kim. So simple and packed with great nutrients.

  8. I agree Deborah-water is key. I try to eat at least an hour before my workout, which isn’t always possible.

  9. Water is the best to have to get fit.
    Trisha Park recently posted..Protein vs Carbohydrates on Weight ManagementMy Profile

  10. I would add a cup of caffinated tea which helps give me a little boost. I also like Greek yogurt with wheat germ and walnuts!

  11. Caffeinated tea- interesting Lindsay! Might have to give that a try. I do drink caffeinated tea after I work out.

  12. […] I have been a Nutiva fan for quite some time and was lucky enough to connect with the brand at ShiftCon this year. I use Chia seeds is so many things. They’re very rich in omega-3 fatty acids-even more so than flax seeds and salmon. One serving size includes 18 percent of recommended daily calcium and four grams of protein and they’re packed with fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, iron,  niacin, and zinc. I love putting Nutiva Chia Seeds in my smoothie. Such a simple way to get a big dose of nutrition. […]

  13. These all look good!

    Too bad I cannot stand having a meal before my workouts. 🙁 I prefer just taking my pre workouts supplements since they provide the boost I need for my strenuous training program.

    But still, kudos to these!

  14. […] meal in the morning can balance your mood and help you handle what the day has in store for you. HERE are a few of my favorite foods to eat before my run or visit to the […]

  15. Thanks so much for sharing! I am always unsure of whether I should eat pre or post workout but I think I will start snacking before going on a workout and a light meal after!

  16. Great post! I prefer eating banana after workout to replenish the energy lost. It’s a fast digesting starchy fruit that can quickly breakdown the carbs to energy. That way, you can quickly recover from an extreme workout.

  17. Wow I love all these pre-work out snack ideas. I motly never drink anything else but water before working out but the smoothing looks appetizing!
    Odessa recently posted..What is the Best Weight Bench to Buy in 2016?My Profile

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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