Ready to hit the gym? Have you taken everything that you need? Have you taken your pre-workout meal? If not then do it right away. Pre-workout meals drastically affect your results. This is what the nutritionists say and the people who take pre-workout meals seriously, believe. It is a known fact that if you eat before going to the gym you are likely to exercise for a longer duration and to avoid muscle injury and muscle fatigue. But will eating anything provide the same results? Probably not. Which leads to this question, what to eat before going to gym. This blog is for all those who are newbies to the fitness world and also for those who want to see improved outcomes with a slightly improvised input.

The Perfect Post-Workout Meal
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Why should you eat before going to gym?

  • For higher intensity workout you need to have a proper snack
  • You can train for longer durations
  • Right nutrition before the gym will promote muscles recovery
  • Possible injuries can be avoided
  • You can prevent muscle fatigue and reduce muscle breakdown by consuming good pre-workout snacks
  • Your physical performance will be enhanced

What should your meal include?

There are basically three major macronutrients that fuels our body. While wondering what to eat before going to gym you should keep them in your mind.

Macronutrients: Fats, Carbs, Protein | Prospect Medical Systems
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Glucose is produced from carbs that fuels our muscles. Our body processes and stores glucose in the form of glycogen which is further stored in liver and muscles mainly. The glycogen is the main source of energy during short duration and high intensity workout. With the depletion of glycogen which is stirred in the muscles in a limited amount, your output and intensity of workout diminishes. However to maximize the glycogen store a method called carb loading, which involves a high carbs diet is quite popular among the fitness lovers.


Proteins are the top priority for those who are willing to have flashy strong muscles. Protein not only improves the athletic performance but also makes the muscles strong. This helps to prevent muscle injury and muscle fatigue. Proteins are called the building blocks of our body which makes the need of protein crystal clear in your pre-gym meal.


By fat we mean healthy fat. Some of the sources of healthy fats can be eggs, nuts, avocados, olive oil and coconut oil. Fats fuel our body when we do the workout for longer duration with moderate to low intensity. Include good fat which means unsaturated fats in your meal.

When to eat pre-gym foods?

The timing plays a very important role in deciding what to eat before going to gym. You consume a full meal 2-3 hours prior to the gym. In any case try to avoid eating anything 30 minutes before you hit the gym. The shorter the duration between the meal and the gym the simpler the meal should be. Choose food that is simple to digest if you eat 45-60 minutes before the gym. If you will eat a heavy meal just before hitting the gym you may end up throwing up in the gym and I’m sure you don’t want that.

What to eat before going to gym?

So what exactly can be the right pre-workout snack for you? We will take care of it. Here we have enlisted the best 8 pre-workout edibles for you.


For morning workout when you cannot have a meal 2-3 hours prior to that oatmeal is the best option. It is easy to cook and digest as well. Loaded with energy and fiber oatmeal can give you lots of energy while you are working out.

7 Scientific Health Benefits of Oatmeal | Everyday Health
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Chicken with rice

A medium sized bowl of rice, even better if it’s brown rice with 2 pieces of chicken. It is best to have if you go to the gym in the evening or at night after your work or college. Brown rice is rich in fiber and is absorbed slowly into the body and chicken is a rich source of protein.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe
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Protein shakes 

If you are a vegetarian and somehow you can’t avail protein from the natural resources you can have protein shakes. Mix with fruits and nuts protein shakes can be an amazing source of energy. It also strengthens your muscles to prevent muscle injuries.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake | Vega (US)
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Banana or grapes

Fruits are a very good source of simple carbs, natural sugars and, best of all, potassium. The electrolyte present helps prevent muscle cramps and can be lost through sweat. Rich in starch and carbohydrate, bananas are loaded with energy.

Fruits Bananas Grapes - Free photo on Pixabay
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Peanut butter sandwich

As a quick snack you can opt for multigrain or brown bread with peanut butter. It will fill you with energy. Peanut butter comes with monounsaturated fatty acids that are good for the heart. As it is a light meal you can have it 45-60 minutes before the gym.

Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich (Gourmet, Grilled) - The Picky Eater
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Steamed vegetables and yogurt

Yogurt contains protein in a good amount. It is a treat to your digestive system. Add some fruits or honey to yogurt and it will boost your energy immediately. For summers it’s a great choice.

How To Make Homemade Yogurt - Curd by Archana's Kitchen
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Vegetables are a rich source of several vitamins and nutrients that our body needs. Steaming them helps to maintain the nutritional value of the vegetables.

Ginger-Sesame Steamed Vegetable Salad Recipe: How to Make It | Taste of Home
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There are many options to have before hitting the gym. The ones mentioned here are the most feasible ones. You can also have energy bars and fruit smoothies to replenish your energy quickly. Make sure to eat healthy even after the gym is over. This will give your body a wholesome development. You must have heard that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. And for that healthy body workout and good food is equally important.

So now you know what to eat before going to the gym make sure not to hit the gym empty-stomach or overloaded. 


Shivangi Srivastava is an aesthete, a bibliophile, to be more specific and an engineer, living in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She has been a co-author of more than 5 anthologies. Her constellation of words driven by her inquisitive nature, are her pride possessions. Aiming to be an author, presently she is polishing her writing skills and learning something new everyday as a freelance content writer.

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