How to Choose Your Pre Workout Snack

Whatever sport of physical activity you do, what you eat is essential, and in this article I'll help you choose the best pre workout snack.

Pre workout snackA good pre workout snack is important for a few reasons:

  • It provides enough energy to tackle more intense workouts
  • It keeps the blood glucose level constant, for the proper functioning of the brain
  • It improves the recovery between sets
  • It prevents energy depletion and the loss of hydro-saline balance

It is vital that our daily diet is correct and balanced, and includes all the essential nutrients such as macro nutrients, in particular:

  • Essential amino acids (protein)
  • Essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6)
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Antioxidants and fibers
  • Water (hydration)

What Pre Workout Snack Should I Choose and Why

To be effective, a pre workout snack must have these three characteristics:

  • High digestibility
  • High energy density
  • Mainly carbohydrates with low GI (glycemic index)

Although some may think that it would be better to avoid calories before a workout, the foods we eat before exercising are key to maximize the results.

Here is a list of the best foods that you should include in your pre workout snack.



Bananas are rich in digestible carbohydrates and potassium, which improves the functioning of the muscles and nervous system.



Oat is rich in fiber, which means that it gradually releases the carbohydrates in the bloodstream, avoiding insulin spikes and ensures a constant energy level and prolonged.

Oat is also rich in vitamin B, which is critical in the metabolic process for the transformation of carbohydrates into energy.



A slice of whole wheat bread is a good source of slow release carbohydrates. It makes it a perfect pre workout snack when served with a few slices of turkey breast (which add proteins), honey or jam (energy).

Fruit Smoothie

fruit smoothie

Fruit smoothies are an excellent source of carbohydrates and protein, easy and quick to prepare.

A fruit smoothie is a perfect combination of fruit carbohydrates (mainly fructose, absorbed quickly), and the yogurt protein (which is metabolized more slowly and helps prevent muscle damage).

If you add bananas to your smoothie you kill two birds with one stone!

Protein Bars or Protein Shakes

protein bars

Protein bars (homemade or purchased), are an excellent source of carbohydrates and protein: useful to provide energy during the workout and to build muscle mass.

I personally don't like the taste of protein bars. I've tried different types and unfortunately I can't help it...I don't like them.

I wish I did, because they're an easy pre workout snack.

What I do instead, is drink a protein shake, actually to be honest, a mix of protein and carbs.

It's called weight gainer, it's easy to make, fast to drink, and there are many different weight gainers out there, so you can choose also your favorite flavor.

My favorites are the True Mass and the Syntha 6 by BSN:

What to Avoid

It is important also to know what to avoid in your pre workout snack.


First of all, fatty foods, because they slow down the digestion, giving us the feeling of heaviness and swelling, ultimately causing cramps and colics (worst case scenario).

I said that carbohydrates and somewhat needed before you workout, but be smart, get good carbs and not from sweets and cakes.

They can cause insulin spikes, or energy spikes that don't last long at all (you may lose all the energy after a few sets and waste a workout session).


In the end of the day, it is important to have a pre workout snack that provides the right source of energy for weight lifting.

But do not exceed with food, you don't want to suffer from indigestion, nausea and vomiting while you're at the gym!


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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Blanca
    Hi, interesting article. I have a question, you mentioned two kind of proteins. These proteins are for gain muscle mass and fat? I would like to try but I won't like to gain fat. Right now my weight is 123 (I lost 7 pounds, I was 130), my idea is to gain muscle but no fat. Thanks for your answer
    • Cristian Cristian
      Hi, proteins don't make you gain fat. Some weight gainers contain carbs too (like Syntha 6) but you can go with plain whey protein if you want the leanest protein. Some snacks provide fatty acids, which are essential too (increase testosterone, improve metabolism etc.), but they are not to be confused with fat.