Nothing prepares you for an intense workout as much as a nutritious pre-workout meals. Learn about seven of the best foods to eat before your next workout.
When you are preparing for an intense workout, there are a few types of preparation to consider.
#1: You need to prepare yourself mentally. A grueling workout will require a lot of mental fortitude to leave it all in the gym.
#2: You need to ensure that you warm up so that you don’t injure yourself with cold muscles.
#3: You need to ensure that your body has the fuel necessary to complete the workout without fizzing out midway through.
This last preparation involves one of our favorite past times:
Eating the right foods is crucial to crushing your upcoming workout.
Here are the five best foods to eat as a pre-workout meal before an intense workout:
1. A Protein Shake
There’s nothing that beats the convenience of a protein shake when you need to fuel your workout. You can bring the powder with you and a shaker full of milk.
Simply add the ingredients and shake!
Of course, there are ways to make protein shakes healthier and provide an extra boost of energy. To do this, you will need to add healthy fats and quickly-digested carbs to your protein shake.
Here are some recipes to try in the blender:
Banana Nut Protein Shake
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 heaping tablespoon of almond butter
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
- 8 oz of milk
Chocolate Avocado Protein Shake
- ½ of an avocado
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 8 oz milk
Green Chia Protein Shake
- 1 kiwi
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
- 8 oz of milk
Oatmeal is one of those comfort foods that also provide sustained energy from complex carbs.
To bulk up the nutritional value of your oatmeal, add nuts or seeds for healthy fats.
Then add fruits for carbs, energy, and flavor!
Here are some delicious oatmeal recipes to try:
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Cook your oats with pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, enough milk to make it the consistency you enjoy.
Then, sprinkle it with brown sugar, and add some chopped pecans.
Almond Joy Oatmeal
Add coconut, chocolate chips, and chopped almonds to your rolled oats as you cook them for a delicious meal that tastes like a chocolate bar!
There are literally hundreds of different ways to create a new and healthy version of the traditional oatmeal as a pre-workout meal.
This list of 50 will give you plenty to choose from.
3. Protein Wrap
If you want something you can grab with your hands and take with you wherever you go, do you know what you need?
All you need is a whole grain wrap that you can load with lean meats and other toppings to fill your belly and fuel your muscles! Some of the protein choices you can add to your wrap include chicken, steak, or deli meats.
Next, you’ll need to add healthy fat to the mix like hummus, avocado, or skim mozzarella cheese.
Last but not least, fill that sucker up with veggies full of fiber and vitamins. Some good choices include lettuce (of course), tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and spinach.
Want to give it a shot?
Try one of these wraps before your next workout:
Chicken Caesar Wrap
Fill your wrap with grilled chicken, parmesan, romaine lettuce, and Greek yogurt Caesar dressing.
Steak and Cheese Wrap
This wrap contains the traditional ingredients of a Philly cheesesteak without the extra calories of the hoagie roll.
To make this recipe, roll sliced steak, sauteed onions and peppers, and pepper jack cheese in a wrap.
Grill it on the stove for cheesy, melty goodness.
Spicy Tuna Wrap
Are you a lover of sushi?
You’ll enjoy this wrap, then.
To make this wrap, mix a can of tuna with mayo and sriracha and top it with cucumber slices, matchstick carrots, and lettuce.
Tuck it all into a whole wheat tortilla and enjoy!
4. Egg Scramble
Eggs are one of the purest forms of protein.
This makes eggs the perfect pre-workout meal to feed your muscles. To make them filling and add vitamins, scramble them with mixed veggies, cheeses, and toppings.
Need some inspiration for egg scramble creations?
These should do the trick:
Scramble your eggs with chopped onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Top with avocado slices and salsa.
Spinach and Cheese Scramble
Scramble your eggs with chopped spinach leaves and garlic. Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella on top and finish off the dish.
Inspired by the supreme pizza, scramble these eggs with Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and topped with some cheddar.
5. Healthy Toast
A piece of whole-grain toast is like a pre-workout meal canvas that is waiting to be covered with a beautiful mixture of foods to consume.
The right mixture for energy is heavy on protein, low on carbs, and a sprinkling of healthy fats.
Here are a few toasted works of art for you to try next time you’re looking for a healthy pre-workout meal:
Almond Butter and Banana Toast
Take a toasted piece of whole-grain bread and spread it with almond butter. Slice a banana and place it on top. Sprinkle the toast with chia seeds for a delightful crunch.
Berry Bliss Toast
Top your toast with some mascarpone cheese and your choice of berries. Sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries work really well.
Greek Delight Toast
This culinary masterpiece covers the toast in tzatziki sauce and tops it off with a layer of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.
It tastes almost as good as a Gyro!
These foods are not only important to improve your athletic performance. They also help keep the damage down after such an intense workout.
That way, you can get back to your workouts and get in your best physical form.
Many people tend to negatively affect their ability to really get the most out of their workouts by reducing their calorie intake too much.
This will only cause fatigue and lack of energy to complete a workout with intensity.
A drastically lower metabolism and a limit to the results you will see from your regular exercise regime.
Not to worry!
If you try one of the recipes on this list before you get ready to sweat, you’ll see a marked improvement in your physical abilities.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Verge Greeley to help them with their online marketing.