Pre-Workout Nutrition: What You Should Eat Before Your Workout

January 6, 2021

Pre-Workout Nutrition

The old saying goes “You are what you eat” and this is especially true for athletes. Proper nutrition is essential to achieving both physical and performance goals. Optimizing your nutrition and pre-workout supplementation will not only help your body perform better and develop the results you want from training but will also go a long way in ensuring a high quality of life. Be sure to check out our guides on intra-workout and post-workout nutrition.

Examples of Pre-Workout Meals

The type and quantity of food you eat before your workout depend on many factors. You will need to tailor your pre-workout meal to your overall caloric needs, what type of training you are doing, how long you plan on training, and how intense you train. Your pre-workout meal may differ from day to day depending on what your needs are.

The meal ideas below are tailored to those seeking to build muscle and strength, but the general principles apply to most types of training. As also, these are ideas are a guideline and your body is the best tool you have to determine what you should eat and when.

A good rule of thumb is to eat a mixture of carbs and protein prior to exercise and keep fat intake to a minimum. If you plan on eating a significant amount of fat with your pre-workout meal it is generally good to give your body a few hours to break that meal down.

If Your Workout Starts Within 2–3 Hours or More

This timeframe works for many athletes, especially those on high calories diets. Two to three hours is also enough time for most people to digest their food and prevent abdominal discomfort.

  • Steak, potato, and roasted/steamed vegetables
  • Whole eggs, oatmeal or toast w/ avocado, fruit juice, or whole fruit
  • Smoothie made with whole milk, protein powder, peanut or almond butter, and fruit

If Your Workout Starts Within 2 Hours

This timeframe also works well for most athletes. The absence of fat helps the body quickly break down food.

  • Chicken or fish, rice, and roasted/steamed vegetables
  • Smoothie made with whole milk, protein powder, Greek yogurt, and fruit
  • Egg white omelet, oatmeal, fruit juice, or whole fruit

If Your Workout Starts Within an Hour

It is not recommended to try and consume a full meal if you have to work out within an hour of eating. It is best to eat something light that is quickly digestible to prevent and abdominal discomfort.

  • Greek yogurt and fruit
  • Protein bar
  • Protein shake with fruit

Don’t be afraid to try different timings and meal compositions. Everyone is different and you will need to find out what works best for you.

To summarize, a combination of carbohydrates and protein is recommended for pre-workout meals. Fat is also beneficial but requires additional time to digest.

The Best Pre-Workout Supplements

If you’re looking to optimize your training, a pre-workout supplement is a necessity. A pre-workout supplement should enhance your performance and strength, reduce fatigue, and promote muscle gain. M.A.S.S. Nutraceuticals INITIATE pre-workout supplement is a powerful, high-performance formulation. INITIATE provides a comprehensive blend of performance boosters and nootropics to provide complete mind-body connection, increased energy, prolonged endurance, sharpened focus, and powerful pumps. We also offer a stimulant-free pump pre-workout. DOMINATE not only increases vasodilation, vascularity, and blood flow, it improves the body’s stress response to ultimately increase performance and output. DOMINATE delivers the drive to push yourself through any workout. INITIATE and DOMINATE are the best pre-workout supplements for men and women.