There is a reason we’ve called this: Top 10 Pre-Workout Snacks instead of ‘meals’ because before you work out you only need something small to give you enough energy. If it’s something big, it’ll prevent you from burning fat. If you eat a high carbohydrate snack before you hit the gym it’ll give you lots of energy but it’s unlikely you’ll burn any fat -you’ll just end up burning off the food instead!
That’s why it’s always best to have a low-carb snack with some protein or good fat so that your body can tap into its fat stores when you exercise. Take a look at our pick of some of the tastiest pre-workout snacks that are super quick to make too!
1. Greek yogurt with fruit
Amazingly filling due to the high protein content and lots of lovely vitamins thanks to the fruit, this is the best go-to pre-workout snack. It’s up to you what fruit you want to put on it but my personal favourites are blueberries and strawberries. A few tablespoons of yogurt will be enough and you could even get a bit creative and add some flaxseed or coconut syrup on top for extra nutritional benefits.
2. Handful of almonds
Almonds are protein-packed so a handful of these before a workout are an amazing source of energy. It might not look like very much but trust me they’ll keep you feeling full whilst you lift those weights! They even have the fabulous side effect of giving your skin a healthy glow. What’s not to love?
3. Scrambled eggs
Having two eggs on their own (most importantly without bread) means that because you haven’t given your body any carbohydrates you can only burn fat when you exercise. This is great news because there’s nothing worse than working hard in the gym knowing that it is only burning off the food you just ate instead of sculpting you out some rock hard abs! Eggs are not only high in protein but vitamin D as well which we all need in the winter months. Scrambled eggs can surprisingly keep you feeling full for a few hours too.
4. Avocado smoothie
Blend your favourite fruits with some ripe avocado, Greek yogurt and milk for the perfect on-the-go snack as you head to your next fitness class. Use fruits like strawberries, blueberries, figs etc.
5. Pear with cottage cheese and cinnamon
I know this might sound a bit strange and I was sceptical at first too but I’ve tried it and it’s surprisingly indulgent! If you want something a bit different this is one for you.
Cut a pear in half and leave one half for another day. The quickest way to make this is to put the pear half in the microwave for 20 seconds (or more depending on the wattage of your microwave) until it is soft and warm. Then scoop out a bit of the middle and fill with two tablespoons of cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is high in protein and by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon you get a dessert-like snack in under a minute!
6. Quinoa chicken salad
Although quinoa is technically a carb it is also considered a protein so having a small amount (approximately 40g) in a salad will do you wonders. Try making your salad with spinach, chickpeas, tomatoes and anything else you fancy, add some chicken on top and voila! an amazingly nutritious energy-boosting salad that will get you through those squats and lunges with ease!
7. Eggs baked in avocado
Joe Wicks, aka ‘The Body Coach’, came up with this ingenious idea of cooking eggs inside avocado halves. Okay so he probably wasn’t the first one to have thought of it but with his ‘Lean in 15’ video he ingrained this really easy recipe into the minds of the nation.
It’s as easy as it sounds. Just cut the avocado in half, scoop out a hole in the middles and crack an egg into each one then cook in 30 second bursts for 2 minutes. Avocados are high in good fats which actually help to burn the excess fat in your body!
8. Apples with almond butter
Another great quick, easy snack to make needing just two ingredients! Slice the apple and smother with almond butter for a delicious snack that will keep you from dreaming about pizza when you hit the treadmill. This is a good alternative to having a handful of almonds because if you feel like you need something with a bit more substance this snack will make you feel like you have eaten much more.
9. Two-ingredient pancakes
Another fantastic two-ingredient snack, all these tasty pancakes require are two eggs and one banana (okay so technically three ingredients but let’s not get too picky here!).
Just mash-up the banana and properly mix it with the two eggs. At this point it can be good to add a teaspoon of baking powder especially if you want them to be a bit fluffy then simply fry them in a tiny bit of coconut oil. It makes about two small pancakes and although the banana is quite ‘high’ in sugar, if you eat this as a breakfast before your morning workout it’ll help set you up for the day.
You probably know how to make an omelette but what you might not know is that it’s actually a great pre-workout snack and of course you can add any vegetable/s you want and customise it to your tastes! Two eggs are enough for one person, but you can use three if you’re a bit peckish, and for some extra nutrients add spinach or kale. The best part is you don’t even need to add any meat to it because eggs have enough protein to sustain you.
Whilst exact weights of each ingredient for these snacks isn’t given, it’s for you to make sensible decisions based on your own height, weight, metabolic rate and physical constitution. These snacks shouldn’t make you feel too full but should leave you feeling satisfied and happy to blast through your training!
Stay tuned for our Top 10 Post-Workout Meals, coming soon!