Best Meals to Eat Before a Workout

Your afternoon cardio class or your morning workout session is coming up, and you’re wondering about which foods to eat. You don’t want to eat something that will sit in your stomach, and you want to take in nutrition that will support the workout, not hinder it. Depending on your fitness goals, there are a variety of meals you can eat. Let’s take a look at the best pre-workout meals that will maximize your results.

Meals to Eat if Your Goal is Muscle Building

When you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll want to eat an hour or two before your workout, focusing on meals that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates, with a small amount of fat. You’ll want to save the simple, or fast digesting carbohydrates, for after your workout.




Pre-Workout Meal #1:

  •        1 chicken breast
  •        1 cup of brown rice
  •        1 tablespoon of olive oil (use it to cook chicken or drizzle over chicken and rice)
  •        ½ cup of green vegetables (e.g., broccoli, spinach)

Pre-Workout Meal #2:

  •        1 cup of whole oatmeal (e.g., steel cut or regular but not instant)
  •        Cook the oatmeal with water to your liking
  •        Combine it with 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder and 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds

A Trick to Maximize Results

If you really want to step up your muscle building game, a protein supplement is going to be an immense help. Studies show that protein consumption when combined with a well-structured exercise program can promote lean muscle tissue growth, protein synthesis, and muscle repair.

Whether you enjoy a steak or you follow a vegetarian diet, plant-based protein can be beneficial to both lifestyles. Plant-based protein was shown to be just as effective as animal-based protein. What’s more, it helps to provide more natural and plant-based options into your diet, instead of following the usual meat and potatoes mindset.

Meals to Eat if Your Goal is Fat Burning

When you want to maximize your fat burning potential, it is suggested in many studies to exercise in a fasted-state, especially if you are able to do so first thing in the morning. However, it’s understandable that fasted workouts aren’t for everyone, and they are something you have to gradually become used to. With that said, we’ll have to find a happy medium.

Two hours before your workout, I’d recommend eating a protein-focused meal with little to no carbohydrates, and no fat. This will help provide fuel for the working muscles, and allow the body to focus on burning stored fat as fuel, not recently ingested carbohydrates.

Pre-Workout Meal #1:

  •        1 cup of unflavored Greek yogurt
  •        Consider a calorie-free sweetener, if necessary



Pre-Workout Meal #2:

  •        4 egg whites
  •        Mix with green vegetables (e.g., broccoli, spinach)
  •        Add salt and pepper as needed

A Trick to Maximize Results

If you want to support your body’s metabolic response during your workouts, you can supplement with proven thermogenic, or fat burning ingredients. One hour before your workout, consider taking one or all of the following:

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): This fatty acid has been shown to support a healthy weight by blocking the absorption of fat.

Forskolin: This Asian root increases levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which has been shown to promote increased fat burning.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): A fatty acid like CLA, ALA has been shown to increase the body’s ability to burn fat; thereby supporting long-term weight loss.

What Meals Do You Eat Before Your Workout?

Do you want to build muscle? What is your favorite muscle building meal? Looking to burn fat? What is your go-to fat loss meal? Let us know in the comments below!


Written by David Sautter


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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