Pre-Workout Nutrition


Proper timing of your pre-work meal can optimize your performance and energy levels during exercise, and it can also aide in recovery for the next day. By strategically planning your meals and snacks, you can ensure your body has the necessary fuel for different types of workouts. The time of day that you train will also dictate your meal and snack choices.

Three to Five Hours Before: Full Meals

For a full meal, aim to eat three to five hours before your midday or evening workout. This timing ensures sufficient digestion and energy conversion, allowing you to exercise with a comfortable stomach and ample energy.

Include a balanced mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in this meal.

One to Two Hours Before: Smaller Meals or Snacks

As your workout gets closer, opt for a small snack rich in carbs and protein. Eating one to two hours prior provides energy without risking digestive discomfort. This snack fuels you for the upcoming effort without overloading your digestive system.

Examples of pre-workout snacks:

  • Banana, apple, blueberries
  • Add a tablespoon of PB to your fruit
  • Greek yogurt w/berries and protein powder
  • Oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder
  • Protein shake with carbs (fruit, oats)

Choose what works best for you to enjoy sustained energy during your workout.

Just Before Exercise

For a last-minute energy boost, quick and easily digestible snacks are ideal. These are especially important if you train early in the morning. Typically, we do not recommend doing high intensity, interval training in the morning on an empty stomach.

  • Half of a banana or a scoop of blueberries
  • UCAN carbohydrate drink (sold at CFWP)
  • Balanced Tiger Bar (sold at CFWP)
  • Small serving of trail mix
  • Protein shake (sold at CFWP)

By tailoring your pre-workout nutrition to the timing of your exercise, you can maximize your performance and recovery. Remember, everyone’s body is different, so it might take some experimentation to find what works best for you. Prioritize whole foods and listen to your body to stay energized and achieve your fitness goals.

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