A pre-workout meal is known to improve performance and speed up recovery.

Beginners often neglect pre-workout nutrition due to a lack of awareness, and this weakens their fitness journey. However, bodybuilders and sportspeople are aware of the benefits of a pre-workout meal, which is why they always make sure to have a nutrient-dense meal before working out.

A pre-workout feast should consist of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. A nutrient-dense pre-workout meal can enhance performance and prevent muscle damage.

The Benefit of Eating a Pre-workout Meal

1. Enhance workout duration

Girl holding dumbbell

A pre-workout meal helps enhance workout duration by providing enough energy, enabling you to burn calories and gain lean muscles.

Eating protein, carbs, and healthy fats before going to the gym can help you train for a longer period of time with high intensity.

2. Prevent muscle fatigue

Man doing stretching

Having a healthy bite of the right nutrition half an hour before working out can prevent muscle fatigue and reduce the chances of injury.

3. Promote physical performance

Man doing exercise

Meal enriched with protein, carbs, and healthy fats, promotes better physical performance, limits muscle wear and tear, and prevents unwanted fatigue during workouts.

Roles of macronutrient 

Pre workout meal

Nutrients are the primary source of energy and calories, which enable our body to perform everyday activities.

Three types of macronutrients are:

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrate
  3. Fats

These macronutrients are known for providing energy to the body, but they work differently in the pre-workout scenario.

1. Protein

Protein is essential for gaining muscle and repairing muscle.

Consuming 20 grams of protein before working out can increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis, providing better performance for a longer duration.

Additionally, consuming protein before resistance training helps build muscle mass, which is used in resistance training.2

Protein-rich food included

  1. Eggs
  2. Chicken
  3. Fish
  4. Low-fat dairy product
  5. Soy products
  6. Nuts
  7. Lentils
  8. Pork and beef

2. Carbohydrate

Our body needs energy to work out, and the primary source of energy is carbohydrates

Carbohydrate gets converted by the liver into glycogen. Glycogen is a secondary source of energy that is stored in the liver and muscles. But the glycogen in the muscles is very limited. However, muscle glycogen is sufficient for a short, high-intensity workout.

It is essential to know which carbs you are eating, as they are a primary source of energy that helps prevent fatigue and improves concentration.

Carb food included

  1. Oats
  2. Whole grain
  3. Beans
  4. Sweet potato
  5. Brown rice
  6. Whole fruits 
  7. Legumes

3. Fats

Fats provide fuel to the body for a long, intense workout.

Studies suggest that eating fat before working out does not have much effect on performance. However, consuming healthy fats over a long period of time does have a positive effect on health.

However, fat in a meal promotes better metabolic health, resulting in an increased breakdown of fat for energy.

Healthy fat included

  1. Nuts
  2. Peanut butter
  3. Avocado
  4. Olive oil

Pre-workout meal timing 

A pre-workout meal helps protect muscles from fatigue and injury, while also supporting muscle building and recovery.

It is beneficial to eat a nutrient-dense meal, containing carbs, protein, and healthy fat, 2-3 hours before going to the gym in order to get the most out of the workout.

Or, you can have a meal 30-45 minutes before going to the gym. The meal should consist of carbs, protein, and healthy fat.

Pre-workout Meal

Meal for pre-workout

different type of meal

1. Oatmeal, protein powder, and blueberries

A meal of complex carbohydrates will help keep you fuller for longer and provide you with enough energy to blast through your workout. Protein powder makes the meal super nutritious, and adding berries like raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries will provide antioxidants and delicious flavor.

2. Scrambled egg, veggies (spinach)

Eggs are full of amino acids and other vital nutrients that help enhance muscle building and recovery, while spinach is super healthy and packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

3. Apple and peanut butter/almond butter

This a delicious pre-workout snack for those who are short on time. While Apple is full of fiber yet nutritious, peanut butter is an excellent protein and healthy fat source. A combination of these two can help your appetite full for longer and give the feeling of satisfaction.

4. Whole grain bread, peanut butter/almond butter, and banana slices

Whole-grain bread contains complex carbohydrates, while bananas are full of simple carbohydrates with their natural sweetness, which is also very filling; peanut butter or almond butter provides protein and healthy fat. These three things together make a healthy pre-workout snack.

5. Brown rice and chicken breast

A complete meal but not a snack, brown rice, and chicken breast make a super yummy and nutritious meal; chicken is high in protein, and rice contains complex carbs. This meal can promote muscle building, improve performance, and also improve recovery.

Note: The protein content in chicken is highest in the breast and thigh, so you can choose between them.

6. Egg and whole-grain toast

Eggs are tasty, filling, and nutritious whether eggs are, scrambled, boiled, or fried. Whole eggs have all eight amino acids, a powerhouse for natural muscle building and muscle recovery. Whole grain toast is a complex carbohydrate. Whole-grain bread and eggs make a healthy snack together.

7. Whey protein shake 

Whey protein is a master of every drink related to muscle building, muscle recovery, and reducing inflammation. Not only does this drink come with physical benefits, but it is also beneficial for health.

Whey protein drinks work for both pre-workout and post-workout, as they are quickly digested in the body.

Some of the health benefits of whey protein

  1. Lower blood pressure
  2. Reduce inflammation
  3. Promote weight loss

Drinking 30 minutes before working out can give you tremendous benefits.

  1. Help in muscle growth
  2. Enhance recovery rate
  3. Better performance 

Also Read: Best Ab-Building Food

Best Pre-workout Drink

Pre workout Drinks
  1. Protein smoothie
  2. Black coffee
  3. Beetroot juice
  4. Green tea
  5. BCAA


It is essential to take a pre-workout at least 30 minutes before going to the gym. You can consume pre-workout food, supplements, and drinks. Macronutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat, are the primary source of energy.

Thank You

Fitness Blogger | Fitness Trainer | Weight Loss Nutritionist

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