The 7 Best Snacks To Eat Before a Workout

The 7 Best Snacks To Eat Before a Workout

10 min read


01 Jun 2024

Grab your cheat sheet…

  1. Why should you eat before a workout?
  2. The 7 best snacks and supplements to eat before a workout
  3. What’s the best time to eat before a workout
  4. How Crazy Nutrition can fuel you pre-workout

Take control of your workouts with pre-workout snacks that will fuel your training sessions to new heights.

Fueling up before hitting the gym isn’t just about curbing hunger—it’s about squeezing every last drop of juice from your workout—from the first rep to the last.

The choice of snacks to eat before a workout can really influence your energy levels, exercise performance, and your gains.

Whether it’s the rapid energy burst from a fruit smoothie or the endurance provided by whole grains, getting your pre-workout nutrition right is crucial for maximizing your sweat session. No ifs, no buts. No compromises.

Here, we’re gonna look at the best snacks to eat for proper nutrition before a workout. We’ll also cover supplements and the best time to take both to level up your training sessions.

Ready to find out how to supercharge your exercise routine?

Let’s dive in.

Why should you eat before a workout?

woman eating salad

Eating before a workout isn't just a suggestion—it's crucial!

The fuel you give your body pre-workout can dramatically boost your energy levels, zone in your focus, and jumpstart your muscle endurance, setting you up for peak performance.

But not only that.

It’s down to a little thing called glucose too.

Pre-workout snacks play a key role in fueling the body's primary energy source: glucose. Glucose is the sugar in our blood, energizing various systems within the body.

When you don’t use it right away, it's converted into glycogen and stored in our muscles and liver, ready to be utilized during physical activity.

Our bodies need carbohydrates to produce glucose effectively. Carbohydrates are essential macronutrients—alongside proteins, fats, cholesterol, fiber, and water—for maintaining health and ensuring optimal exercise performance.

Why pre-workout nutrition is a game-changer

Targeting the right mix of foods and blood flow to your muscles, heightens mental alertness and helps you push harder for longer during high-intensity and HIIT workouts.

Let’s find out which ones are the building blocks for the greatest workouts possible.

Power food groups for powerful workouts

Here’s the skinny on powering up pre-workout. Let’s talk about food groups and a few key examples.


Carbohydrates are your muscles' best friend, providing the quick energy you need to keep the pace. Opt for fresh fruit like bananas or a handful of trail mix for that perfect pre-workout energy spike.

Protein packs a punch

Protein isn’t just for post-workout. Snack on Greek yogurt or sip a protein shake to feed your muscles the amino acids essential for fighting fatigue and boosting muscle repair.

Don’t forget the fats

A little bit of fat from sources like almond butter or even a drizzle of olive oil goes a long way in fueling longer exercises without weighing you down.

Think about supplementation

Supplements like pre-workout powders can offer an extra edge, pumping you up with ingredients like beta-alanine and caffeine to supercharge endurance and intensity.

But remember, personal preferences vary—what revs one athlete’s engine might sputter for another.

The 7 best snacks (and supplements) to eat before a workout

chocolate protein shake

Now you know why fuelling up before a workout is so important, let’s cover seven great snacks to fuel your performance and beyond.

Carbohydrates for energy

Carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source, especially during high-intensity workouts. They're quickly digested and converted into glucose, which fuels your muscles.

It’s often assumed that carbs are the source of weight gain, but the right carb intake means you get the quick energy you need to smash your goals.

Let’s check out the best pre-workout snacks to get you and your workouts going.

Bananas with peanut butter

Did you know? A humble banana is packed full of potassium and simple carbohydrates.

Potassium helps prevent muscle cramps and supports your overall muscle function, while simple carbohydrates provide a quick source of energy.

This combo gives an immediate boost and sustains endurance, making bananas a supercharged choice for fueling your workout.

Pair a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter (or almond butter) to add a little bit of protein and healthy fats to balance the snack and keep energy levels stable.

Another alternative is a fruit smoothie packed with bananas, berries, and a splash of almond milk. This is essentially a homemade pre-workout powder due to its ingredients and their effect.

We know what bananas do, but have you got the lowdown on berries?

Berries are packed with antioxidants and help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, improving recovery time.

Almond milk adds a touch of protein and healthy fats, offering sustained energy and aiding in muscle repair.

Oatmeal with fresh fruit

Oatmeal is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly. Topped with fresh fruit like berries or a sliced apple, it also gives your body added simple sugars to provide energy.

Greek yogurt with honey and almonds

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics, which are beneficial for digestive health.

Adding honey provides a quick energy boost due to its natural sugars, while almonds offer healthy fats, additional protein, and a satisfying crunch.

It's a combo that ensures a balanced intake of carbs, proteins, and fats, making it a great snack for sustained energy throughout the day.

Protein for muscle support

man doing bicep curl

Proteins are not just important—they’re indispensable for muscle repair and growth.

Protein before your workout helps prime your muscles, making them more receptive to the effects of resistance training.

This preemptive step can make a real difference in how efficiently your muscles repair and grow post-exercise.


Let's explore some ideal high-protein options that can set the stage for a successful training session, followed by a supplement recommendation to cover all your bases.

From protein powders to the best protein snacks to eat, we’ve got you covered.

Greek yogurt with berries

Greek yogurt stands out as a powerhouse of protein, offering a smooth, creamy texture that pairs nicely with the natural sweetness and slight tartness of berries.

This combination is similar to the banana snack in that it not only supports muscle repair but also provides a quick source of carbohydrates, fueling your immediate energy needs.

For an added crunch, sprinkle some chia seeds or a few slivered almonds on top.

Hard-boiled eggs
hard boiled eggs

Okay, they’re not that exciting in the world of snacks.

But they are incredible in terms of the nutritional punch they pack. The humble hard-boiled egg provides a complete source of protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Oh, amino acids are known as the building blocks of proteins—vital for muscle repair and growth.

Packing one or two hard-boiled eggs with you as a pre-workout snack can be a quick and efficient way to support your muscles without feeling weighed down.

Chicken or turkey jerky

For those on the go, chicken or turkey jerky can be an excellent protein-packed snack. Look for a natural, low-sodium brand to avoid unnecessary additives and excessive salt.

This snack is perfect for those looking for a savory option that's convenient to grab and go and effective for muscle support.

Cottage cheese and pineapple
cottage cheese and pineapple

This is a super tasty snack!

Did you know? A cup of low-fat cottage cheese paired with a side of fresh pineapple chunks offers a delightful mix of protein and quick-digesting carbs.

This type of cheese is known for its slow-digesting casein protein, which provides a steady supply of amino acids to muscles. Bonus.

Fats for endurance

Fats are a vital source of energy for longer, less intense workouts. They provide a sustained energy release, which is perfect for endurance training. We’re talking about good fats, not just any fats though, people.

Did you know? During extended periods of lower-intensity activity, fats can offer over twice the energy per gram compared to carbohydrates or protein. That’s nine calories per gram for fats versus four calories per gram for the other macronutrients. Oh, good fats can help conserve muscle glycogen stores.

Impressive, huh?

But that’s not all, omega-3 fatty acids—a type of polyunsaturated fat—are especially beneficial for athletes.

They’re associated with…

  • Improved muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced exercise-induced muscle damage and soreness
  • Better recovery due to their anti-inflammatory effects
  • Better heart health
  • Improved immune function

Okay, now let’s cover the (good) fatty snacks that help you perform at your top level.


Nuts and seeds

A small handful of nuts or seeds provides healthy fats for sustained energy and a little bit of protein.

Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, or flaxseeds are great options not only for all the reasons above, but they’re brilliant brain food, too.

Avocado toast
avocado toast

It’s a classic snack you may already have. But here’s a reason why it’s a great pre-workout snack…it’s full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and some much-needed carbohydrates before a workout. Tick a lot of boxes for your body, brain…and smashing out monster training sessions.

The best supplements to have before a workout

Remember that supplements can be a handy way to hit your macros and enrich your nutritional profile with little effort.

When combined with a healthy diet, they can take you to new levels.

The best supplements to take before a workout are those that improve energy, endurance, strength, and focus.

Here are the most common pre-workouts and the ingredients they often have.


Known for its benefits in high-intensity training, creatine can improve strength and muscle mass, and is often included in pre-workout formulas for its performance-enhancing effects.

Choose a pre-workout with creatine to get all the benefits.


This amino acid can help combat muscle fatigue by buffering lactic acid, making way for more intense and prolonged workouts.

Pre workouts with beta-alanine delay the onset of muscle fatigue and supercharge your exercise capacity to max.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs, which include leucine, isoleucine, and valine, promote muscle synthesis and actively reduce muscle soreness when taken before workouts.


This compound, found in pre-workout supplements, is known for its ability to increase nitric oxide production, which can improve blood flow and muscle pumps during resistance training.

Nitrate-rich supplements

These can be either synthetic or natural (e.g., beetroot juice). They’re known to enhance blood flow, which can help supercharge exercise performance.

What is the best time to eat before a workout?

alarm clock

It isn’t just what you eat. It’s when you eat. But why?

Well, timing is everything because eating the right nutrients at the right time can optimize your energy levels, level up your performance—and speed up your recovery times.

Timing your pre-workout snacks

Eating before working out is a must. It fuels the body's anaerobic and aerobic energy systems and maintains glucose levels during workout sessions.

It’s recommended to have a complete meal containing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats two to three hours before exercising.

This timing allows for the digestion and absorption of nutrients, making sure energy is available when needed without digestion getting in the way, leading to indigestion.

For early morning workouts

If you prefer exercising early in the morning, a substantial meal the night before, focusing on complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, will help ensure your muscles are fueled up and ready to go.

A small snack before heading out can help maintain energy levels until breakfast time, too.

After working out

The timing and composition of your post-workout meal are really important for recovery. After exercise, the body needs nutrients to replenish glycogen stores, repair muscle proteins, and restore your electrolyte balance.

Eating a mix of carbohydrates and proteins as soon as possible after your workout, ideally within 45 minutes to an hour, can maximize the body’s ability to recover and rebuild glycogen stores and muscle proteins.

A balanced meal or snack with a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein can effectively support recovery.

How Crazy Nutrition can fuel you pre-workout

No one is perfect.

Life is busy, and you’re busy. Having the right snack in the house and preparing it on time isn’t always possible.

But, you can still enjoy the nutrition your body needs in a convenient, fast, and effective shake with Crazy Nutrition’s pre-workout supplement, Tri-Protein.

Designed to prepare your body for intense activity, this formula provides you with the energy boost and endurance you need to power through your next session and every session after that.

Its special blend of six different types of protein digests at varying rates, which means a sustained release of amino acids throughout your workout. This helps prevent muscle breakdown during prolonged exercise sessions.

It also contains caffeine and taurine for alertness and an energy boost, added nootropics so you are sharp for every set.

What’s also great about this product is that unlike typical pre-workout supplements, which people usually take 20 to 30 minutes before the workout—you can actually use it as a meal replacement or snack.

Why not take a look at our blog for even more expert advice on everything from the importance of nutrition to myths about protein and exercises that help build muscle? We’ve got you and your fitness goals covered.