What’s the best thing to eat before a workout?

June 28, 2021

What’s the best thing to eat before a workout? Finding the right food to eat before you workout is almost as important as your workout itself. You don't want something too filling that may cause you to cramp up or feel sick, but you do want fuel to give you energy to push through your workout. We’re here to help you decide what food is best for you!


According to Healthline, the most optimal time to eat a full meal before working out is 2-3 hours before. This meal should contain carbohydrates, protein and fats. Eating a full meal may not be ideal for everyone, so it’s recommended that you eat a snack 30-90 minutes before working out, but keep in mind that the closer you eat to your workout, the smaller your meal should be to prevent discomfort. 



  • Bananas 
  • This is ideal to eat if you aren't super hungry or if you are eating closer to the time of your workout. Bananas have carbohydrates that are easy to digest and can give you that energy you need to push through your workout! Bananas are packed with carbohydrates (about 90% of a banana is carbs) and potassium making them the perfect light snack before your workout.


  • Oats
  • Eating any form of oatmeal topped fruit, nut butter or honey is best to eat within 1-2 hours before working out. This meal may be a little heavier depending on what you choose to top it with. Oats are full of fiber, which means they release carbohydrates gradually. This allows you to maintain the same energy level for a longer period of time, making them the perfect sidekick for your workouts.


  • Dried Fruit
  • Although any fruit can be good before a workout (fruit smoothies, anyone?!), dried fruit is convenient if you are short on time. This is a lighter snack you can eat closer to the time of your workout without feeling like you stuffed yourself. A handful of these are filled with easily digestible, simple carbohydrates.

     

  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Have this right before your workout if you need something quick and packed with carbohydrates. Feeling hungrier? Add turkey, hard boiled eggs, or nut butter (please don’t mix those 3 together!) to your bread to make it more of a meal rather than a small snack. 


  • Yogurt + Fruit
  • Yogurt is filled with protein and fruit has higher carbs making this combo perfect for your workout. We suggest Greek yogurt as it typically has 2x the amount of protein than normal yogurt (and less carbs and sodium). The carbohydrates in fruit break down quickly and keep you fueled during your workout. The protein from the yogurt can help build muscle while you're working out. 


  • Chicken, Rice and Greens
  • Not only is this a well rounded meal, it’s great fuel to keep you energized for your workout! If you’re looking for a meal rather than a snack, this is the way to go. It’s ideal to eat this over 60 minutes before your workout.


  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Although sweet potatoes are a complex carb, they are easier to digest compared to other carbs. This is better to eat a couple hours before your workout, or right after.


  • Protein Shake
  • Protein and carbohydrates are the best things to eat pre-workout. Although protein shakes may not have a lot of carbs (ICONIC has 4g net carbs), they do provide you with the energy you need to complete your workout without crashing! This will keep you full throughout your workout without feeling like your stomach is cramping. 



    We hope you see some of your go-to snacks and meals on this list, and if not, try one of these out and let us know if you felt more energized during your workout grind! Timing is just as important as what you're eating, so if you notice that you’re feeling slumped during the workout but you’re eating a food that should give you energy, try changing the time that you eat it at, maybe you’re eating it too close to your workout, or too far away! As always, make sure you’re staying hydrated during your pre-workout, during and post workout to avoid fatigue and muscle cramping.

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