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How to Choose What Foods to Have Before a Workout

By April 17, 2018May 9th, 2023Nutrition Tips

It’s a no brainer that diet and exercise are both crucial to your well-being and a common myth is that you shouldn’t eat before a workout to burn more fat. This is actually doing you more harm than good. You should always eat something before exercising as this helps give your body enough fuel to power through your workout. But what to eat? We show you what foods to have before a workout to get the most out of it. In order to help you out, and make deciding what to eat a little bit easier, we have listed Australia’s most popular forms of exercise and what the ideal pre-workout snack is for each of them.

Before running

Love getting that blood pressure up? You’re all for a brisk run in the early hours of the morning or a quick jog in the late afternoon breeze. To avoid stomach cramps, we recommend whole-wheat toast with some nut butter an hour before you plan on running. This snack contains easy to digest carbs and a little protein so it will fuel you up without you feeling too full.


Bike riding

For cyclists, it’s recommended to eat something that can be digested quickly enough in order to be converted into energy by the time you need it. 30 minutes before you hop on your bike, it’s a good idea to eat a banana.

Foods to have before a workout with weights 

While weight lifting provides the stimulus that elicits gains in muscle strength and size, the foods you eat are what fuel those developments. When you’re lifting weights, your body will be utilising primarily carbohydrates as fuel. If you’re thinking of what foods to have before a gym workout, we recommend apple wedges, which provide the low-glycaemic carbohydrates, with almond butter, which offers up protein.

Stamina for swimming

The food you eat before a swim will make a difference in your energy levels and athletic performance. Eat easy-to-digest foods, to avoid needing to use the restroom when you least expect it or having painful stomach cramps. Some steamed vegetables will do the trick

Circuit training

When you’re moving around a lot jumping from exercise to exercise, the key is to consume easily digested carbohydrates, so you don’t feel sluggish. Low fat or fat free yoghurt will give you the energy you need for a high intensity workout without filling you up.


Not to give in to the yogi stereotype but the best food before a yoga session is a small green smoothie. Try to keep the ingredients in your smoothie to mostly greens to support your blood sugar and maybe add a couple slivers of avocado, or a tablespoon or two of chia seeds for just a little healthy fat. The healthy fats will help you absorb the nutrients in the smoothie better.

Pre Pilates

It’s no use wilting with lethargy after the warm-up as we all know that there’s a whole world of stamina needed after that. Air-popped popcorn is a great idea for pre Pilates. Don’t go for the buttery cinema kind, at most, you can add a tiny pinch of salt to yours if you need the flavouring.

We hope you find these pre-workout food ideas helpful. Don’t forget, that active people have an even greater need for adequate nutrition. If you would like help with designing a complete healthy eating plan which fits in with your lifestyle, why not book in for a consult?

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