Training on an empty stomach? Not a good idea! These healthy snacks give you a little energy kick just before training.
You’re about to go to the gym, but your stomach growls like crazy? It is now too late for a large portion of pasta & Co., because the last large meal before training should be at least 2 hours ago so that the food does not feel heavy in your stomach. But we have the salvation! Here you can read all about the perfect mini pre-workout meal.
Why is it important to eat before training?
Of course, you want to burn calories while exercising. But your body also needs something in the “tank” so that it can even get going. A small, healthy and easily digestible snack is ideal for this. Of course, the prerequisite is that you snack on the right kind of food, i.e. nutritious food and no junk food. A pre-workout snack not only gives you the power you need during training, but also supports regeneration after the workout.
When should I eat before training?
You should plan the snack so that it was not too long ago so that the energy is also available. For the same reason, it shouldn’t be done 5 minutes before training – also so that you don’t feel sick. Ideally, 30 to 60 minutes before exercise, a small pre-workout snack will effectively replenish your energy reserves so that you can really get started.
What are the best pre-workout snacks?
Well, chocolate bars and pastries are certainly not. You shouldn’t snack on anything for the desired effect. It should be nutritious and quickly usable, ideally providing the body with something that it needs for training. What can that be? A whole lot! We have put together the best snacks for you before you start exercising.
1. Natural yoghurt and low-fat quark
Athletes’ hearts beat faster here: Natural yoghurt and low-fat quark not only score with their high protein content, but also provide important minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Calcium strengthens bones and supports muscle contraction during exercise. But pay attention to the fat content and use low-fat yogurt and low-fat quark.
Too much fat would put too much strain on digestion and negatively affect training. To additionally push the carbohydrate storage, simply pour a tablespoon of oatmeal or granola over it.
Tip: Greek yoghurt or skyr also taste good for a change and also provide a lot of protein.
Before training, almonds provide your body with vitamin E, magnesium and healthy amino acids. Vitamin E has an antioxidant effect and protects the cells from (minor) damage during workout. They also contain lots of vegetable protein and are full of good fats that regulate the metabolism – but only if you snack on them in moderation (around a handful per day).
Did you know already? A handful of almonds contain 6g of vegetable protein, which is important for maintaining your muscles. Another plus point: Almonds fill you up for a long time and keep the blood sugar level constant. But please always chew well so that they don’t feel heavy in the stomach. Alternatively, you can use almond butter or mix yourself a delicious breakfast shake .
3. Grainy cream cheese as a protein booster
Little fat and a lot of protein: This makes the grainy cream cheese – also known as cottage cheese – the ideal pre-workout snack. If it is too boring for you on its own, you can easily refine it: If you prefer it sweet, combine it with fruit, honey, agave syrup or nuts. If you prefer it hearty, add spices, herbs and maybe a little tomato paste or mustard.
4. Dried fruits as energy suppliers
Dried fruits provide a lot of power, even in small quantities, thanks to many carbohydrates that go into the blood quickly and are immediately available as energy. The mostly contained mineral potassium also supports muscle regeneration after training.
One or two pieces (for example, dried apricots, figs or apple rings) are enough. Dried fruits contain a lot of fructose and a lot of fiber, which are otherwise like stones in your stomach. Important: Be sure to drink enough because of the high amount of fiber.
Our recipe tip: Energy Balls
Energy balls based on dried fruits, almonds & Co. are also a great snack before and after training.
Ingredients for 20 pieces:
- 300 g dates (pitted)
- 170 g almonds
- 4 tbsp raw cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 10 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon powder
1. Roughly dice the dates and puree with almonds, cocoa, chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut and cinnamon in a high-performance mixer or stand mixer to a smooth mass.
2. Shape the date and almond mixture into 20 balls with your hands. Spread the remaining desiccated coconut on a plate and turn the balls in it.
5. Spoon the peanut butter
Nut butter provides you with lots of healthy, unsaturated fatty acids and high-quality, vegetable protein and is therefore a great snack before a workout, even for vegans.
But when buying it, be sure to pay attention to the ingredients: You can do without additional sugar. For a bit of variety, you can also use unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter. It is particularly tasty with apple wedges or banana slices (quickly available carbohydrates!), Which you can spread with the sauce or use as a dip.
6. Drink pre-workout smoothie
A smoothie is not only full of vitamins, it also provides important minerals and trace elements. The fructose from banana, apple, berries & Co. provides quickly available carbohydrates for the upcoming workout, making it the perfect pre-workout snack.
Vary the types of fruit and vegetables more often, this brings variety to the glass. So you can test which variety tastes best and is best for you. You can also simply drink the vitamin bomb after exercising.
7. Nibble cashew nuts before training
Cashew nuts add vitamin B, potassium, iron, magnesium and folic acid to your nutritional account. This means that they are not only the optimal nutrition for the nerves (you can focus better on the workout), they also prevent possible muscle cramps thanks to the high magnesium content. A small handful is enough, however. Otherwise, the high fat content might have a negative impact on your performance.
8. Bananas for a quick energy kick
Admittedly, it’s not an insider tip, but bananas are THE sports snack par excellence. The carbohydrates in the form of fructose provide energy quickly. They are also easy to digest and keep you full for a long time.
Not to be forgotten are the many vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and magnesium, which protect you from painful cramps. Your body loses minerals through sweating. Therefore, the memory should be topped up.
Tip: Don’t take bananas that are still green. They contain a lot of starch and are much heavier in the stomach than ripe bananas. You are sabotaging your training!
9. Eat hummus and recharge your batteries
The dip made from pureed chickpeas impresses with its high protein content. It also contains numerous B vitamins such as folic acid, which strengthen the nerves (during training). On top of that, there is also a load of vitamin C, which is involved in the development of collagen, bones, connective tissue and the like.
10. Drink coffee before exercising
It’s not necessarily a snack, but it also provides an energy kick: In addition to the hello-wake effect, the caffeine boosts your fat metabolism and brings your performance into full swing. There is the same effect with espresso. The only thing you should avoid is the obligatory spoonful of sugar.
Pre-workout snacks ensure more effective training. You can optimize your performance while exercising with a small snack before exercising. Always make sure not to eat too much and not too close to your workout. A full stomach doesn’t like exercising.