peanut butter

Best Foods To Eat Before A Workout (and Yummy Recipes)

Wandi by Wandi on Jul 9, 2016
Why you should care

Working out on an empty stomach will not…work out. Find out what to do instead.

Working out on a full stomach may cause nausea, lethargy, muscle cramps. That,however, doesn’t apply to certain foods, which can help you maximise your workout.

Be sure to fuel up on these treats before your next session:

1 Bananas

Bananas are rich in carbohydrates like sugar and starch which serve as a primary producer of energy for your body. Your body converts the carbs from bananas into sugar which keeps you going on that treadmill.

Bananas are also rich in potassium that can help prevent muscle cramps during exercise.

Must-try Recipe: Banana Smoothie

Nuts and chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fats which gives you sustained energy, protein, and antioxidants for an energised workout session.

Blend banana slices, nuts, ice, and low fat yogurt or milk until the smoothie thickens. Sprinkle nuts or seeds for a crunchy texture!

banana smoothie

2 Oats

Oats are rich in beta glucan, a fibre that slows digestion and balances blood sugar. This keeps you energised during longer workout sessions. For maximum results, choose whole oats. They’re digested more slowly than quick cooking or instant oatmeal.

Must-try Recipe: Oatmeal With Berries

This quick and easy meal or snack contains berries, which are an added carb and antioxidant booster, reducing stress and keeping your appetite satiated. Plus, the bright flavours of the berries complement the neutral flavour of the oatmeal perfectly.

berries and oats3 Egg Whites

Egg whites provide essential protein for muscle building while boasting less fat content than egg yolks.

Must-try Recipe: Egg White Omelette With Spinach

Egg white omelette with spinach increases muscle growth as it contains iron which increases energy levels and provides vitamin k essential for bone health.

Mix the spinach leaves with the egg whites before frying for a quick and easy munch any time of the day.

4 Whole Grain

Whole grains are filled with carbs (for energy) and fibre (fat-burning). They also keep your blood sugar and cholesterol levels down.

Must-try Recipe: Whole grain Toast With Peanut Butter

This one’s a no brainer – spread and go!

toasted peanut butter


5 Greek Yoghurt

Greek Yogurt is a good producer of calcium for muscle building. It contains less sugar than the regular kind and boasts the protein and carb components needed for rigorous exercises.

Must-try Recipe: Greek Yoghurt With Cinnamon and Honey

Ditch the flavoured store-bought yoghurt with needless sugar content. Instead, add half a tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey to your plain greek yoghurt for a yummy and healthy snack.

yogurt and cinnamon


6 Apples With Peanut Butter

Although high in calories and fat, apples are high in energy and fibre while peanuts help with fat burning muscle building.

Opt for natural peanut butter as it refrains from added sugar and oils which aren’t good for you.

Must-try Recipe: Recipe to Try: Apple Pieces With Peanut Butter Dip

Slice your apples and dip them into peanut butter for a wholesome, bite-sized snack!

apples and peanut butter


7 Ginger

Ginger eases the next day’s aching muscles. It contains pain relieving chemicals gingerol, zingerone, and shogaol.

Must-try Recipe: Ginger tea

Drop a few slices of ginger into your tea and sip tomorrow’s aches away.

ginger tea


8 Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate increases your muscle nutrient absorption. With cocoa ingredients such as catechins and epicatechins, they also decrease muscle aches and increase energy levels.

Must-try Recipe: Just chocolate – it doesn’t need anything else!

Grab a few pieces of chocolate or add chocolate chips to your greek yoghurt for crunch and sweetness.

Before you munch, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Eat 45 minutes to an hour before working out – this times the energy release during the workout.
  • A pre-exercise meal keeps your insulin levels elevated during your session. If you eat protein and carbs before you train, your insulin levels will remain elevated for several hours.
  • Drink approximately 2-3 cups of water, 1 to 2 hours before your workout to keep hydrated.
Why you should care

Working out on an empty stomach will not…work out. Find out what to do instead.

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