What is the best food to eat before a workout?

My clients often ask me to recommend a great pre-workout snack, it’s important to select a snack that produces energy, provides adequate protein and is quick and easy to make.


If you are looking for a personalized plan, it’s always best to see a nutritionist however I am happy to share the philosophy I find works for me!

When I’m planning my pre-workout meal I prefer to leave between 45 minutes to an hour between fueling up and warming up! This is a personal preference and may depend on the intensity of your work out; some people find they need up to 90 minutes to ensure they don’t feel ill during a particularly hard session. I find the most important factors that affect my performance are adequate sleep, hydration and good quality nutrient dense foods.

Here’s a few of my favourite pre-work out choices:

Atlantic Salmon & Sweet Potatoes

I try to eat easily digestible, non-dense carbohydrates. Increasing carbs replenishes your glycogen stores, the most important source of energy for exercise and essential for HIIT training. I steam or roast my sweet potatoes in bite sized pieces and keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge for quick and easy access.

Salmon is one of my favourite sources of protein and very high in vitamin D which promotes calcium absorption in the gut – this is one of many factors that play a role in hydration and normal muscle function. When cooking salmon for dinner I like to make sure I cook a few extra pieces for my pre-workout meals.

Looking for something lighter? Try these quick and easy options!

Watermelon and Brazil Nuts

1 to 2 large slices of Watermelon (organic is always best) and 2 handfuls of Brazil Nuts.

According to recent studies watermelon before a hard workout can help reduce your heart rate and DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

Watermelon will also provide fructose for the immediate energy spike around workout time as well as easily digestible carbohydrates for accessible energy.

Brazil Nuts are low GI and nutrient rich providing a great quick boost of calories, protein and mono-unsaturated fats (good fats) ideal for an intense workout.

Hardboiled Eggs, Organic Green Apple & Blueberries

I always have half a dozen free range boiled eggs in the fridge for a quick and healthy snack – my daughter loves them in her lunchbox too! Combining 1 -2 pre-cooked eggs, an organic apple and a small handful of blueberries provides a pre-workout snack rich in protein, good fats and fructose to give you the benefit of fast and slow burning energy.

So fuel up and get the most out of your next workout!

Yours in wellness…………………

Erin Heath