Top 10 Pre Workout Foods

Here at Myprotein, we’re not just about providing you with the best quality supplements; we also want you to have all the knowledge and nutritional tips. Read this article to find out the top ten pre workout foods.

Related: Energising Homemade Pre-Workout Shake

The Benefits Of Eating Pre Workout


So let’s start by talking about why you should be eating pre workout. Many people carry out what’s called fasted cardio in an attempt to burn and lose body fat but, unless you are carrying out this cardio from 6:00 to 7:00 am, you need to fuel your body before each and every workout.


Ultimately you should picture your body like a car – you can’t expect to drive from Newcastle to London with no petrol in the tank, can you? If you’re looking to perform and train at your best, you need to make sure your body has enough fuel to do so! If you fail to provide yourself with the energy and nutrients required during exercise, the chances are you won’t see results as quickly as you should and over a long period of time your likelihood of becoming ill or injured will be increased.

Cashew chicken meal prep


1. Gives You More Energy


In the body, we use carbohydrates and glycogen as the first source of fuel. This is because carbohydrates and stored glycogen can be converted into ATP energy faster than all other macronutrients. Therefore, filling up your glycogen stores pre workout will mean you’ll have more energy to perform at your best.


2. Prevent Muscle Catabolism


When we exercise, glycogen stores are quickly used up and depleted so the body looks for new sources of energy – our muscles. By breaking down hard earned muscle the body can utilise amino acids for energy! This is BAD as it puts our bodies into a catabolic state which can prevent muscle growth and recovery.


3. Increase Muscle Anabolism


Eating the right foods pre workout means you won’t only top up your glycogen stores but by eating a good source of protein, you’ll also be able to promote protein muscle synthesis and create an anabolic environment in the body.


What and When to Eat Pre Workout

In every meal, you need to consider the three macronutrients carbohydrates, protein and fats as well as the ratio in which you are eating them.


Pre workout, it is best to avoid too much fat. This is because, although high in energy with 9kcal per gram, fats are slow digesting. This means, instead of making you energetic, they can actually make you feel sluggish and heavy.
Pre workout meals containing protein provide us with a major benefit – the prevention of muscle catabolism. By consuming a good source of protein before a workout, you can give your body the amino acids – branched chain amino acids in particular – that it needs to prevent muscle breakdown, whilst aiding muscle recovery and growth.

There are two types of carbohydrates; simple, high GI carbohydrates and complex, low GI carbohydrates…but which one is best pre workout?

This ultimately depends on your goal and the time of your pre workout meal. Simple carbohydrates are great for 30 minutes to an hour before a workout as they provide the body with fast acting glucose as fuel. However, complex carbohydrates also play a role within your energy metabolism. By consuming low GI carbohydrates around 2-3 hours before a workout, you can give your body a slow releasing source of energy. This means you’ll be able to work out for longer and be less likely to crash and burn in the middle of your training.



30 Minutes to an Hour Pre Workout:

Consume light meals and foods which contain simple carbohydrates and some protein.


2-3 Hours Pre Workout:

Consume a meal around 400- 500 calories containing a good source of protein (around 20g) and complex low GI carbohydrates (20-30g).


Pre Workout Foods



pre workout foods


Bananas are a great source of natural sugars, simple carbohydrates, and potassium! In the body, potassium is only stored for a limited amount of time – so try consuming a banana around 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. A banana is Mark Ross’ favourite pre workout food, which is actually thought to provide more energy than caffeine. Eating a banana pre workout is the perfect way to boost your glycogen stores and increase blood sugar levels.


2. Chicken, Rice & Vegetables

The stereotypical healthy meal; chicken, rice, and vegetables are actually a classic pre-workout meal! Through combining a good source of lean protein and complex carbohydrates, this meal can provide amino acids to promote muscle anabolism and a slow releasing source of energy. Consume a meal like this around 2-3 hours before a workout.

pre workout foods

3. Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit

pre workout foods

Dried fruit is high in sugar and high in calories- when it comes to dieting dried fruit is generally avoided, however, this food is great to be consumed in measured amounts pre workout to give a quick source of simple sugar. Consuming dried fruit with Greek yogurt can also provide the body with a source of protein to help optimise your workout. Consume a meal like this 1-1.5 hours before a workout.


4. Porridge and Oatmeal

Porridge and oatmeal are the ultimate pre workout breakfasts! This pre workout food contains complex carbohydrates and is also a great source of the soluble fibre, Beta glucan. By consuming oats around 2 hours before a workout, you’ll be able to satisfy your hunger throughout your workouts whilst getting a great source of slow releasing energy. Try adding a scoop of protein powder to your porridge! That way you’ll also get a great source of protein and muscle protecting amino acids.

pre workout foods

5. Fruit Smoothies


Many people think fruit smoothies are great tasting and super healthy. Whilst smoothies do provide a series of micronutrients that are beneficial for health and well-being,  they are also full of sugars including fructose. This means that smoothies are often high in calories and what are often mistaken as drinks are actually meal replacements! However, consuming a fruit smoothie pre workout is a great pre workout meal option that can provide you with a good source of fast acting glucose


pre workout foods

6. Wholegrain Bread, Sweet Potato and Brown Rice

Wholegrain Bread, sweet potato, and brown rice are great sources of complex carbohydrates that should be consumed around 2-3 hours pre workout. Combining these foods with a good source of protein means you’ll get a good source of slow releasing energy to fuel you throughout a whole workout.  Carbohydrates should be consumed by all those physically active but in particular those who carry out regular endurance activities such as cycling and running.


pre workout foods



7. Apple Wedges and Peanut Butter

pre workout foods

Enjoying sliced apple wedges with a small spread of peanut butter is tasty pre workout food that is perfect for consuming 30 minutes before a workout!


8. Omelette

pre workout foods

Omelettes made using whole eggs and egg whites are a great source of muscle building protein and amino acids. Omelettes should be consumed 2-3 hours before a workout to avoid muscle catabolism and promote muscle growth.

9. Homemade Protein Bars


pre workout foods


Homemade protein bars are super easy to make and perfect for a quick on the go pre workout food! What’s more, you can control the content making bars that are high in carbohydrates and protein or low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Why not try some of our recipes.



10. Protein Shakes

pre workout foods



Last but not least- protein shakes! If you’re on the go and in a hurry or none of the above appeal to you, a quick protein shake can solve your pre-workout problems. By consuming a shake with a good source of fast releasing protein, such as whey protein, with simple carbohydrates like out maltodextrin powder you can get all the pre-workout nutrients you need in a matter of minutes.

So, now you know all there is to know about pre-workout foods, why not put it into practice with a free sample of Mypre exclusive to all blog readers. Simply click here, choose a flavour and feel the buzz!



Energising Homemade Pre-Workout Shake | Maximise Results

2018-02-28 17:07:38By Jennifer Blow



Writer and expert