Knowing what to eat 30 minutes before a workout can be tricky. You want to have enough energy to get through the workout but you don't want to be too full and experience GI issues. Keep on reading to learn what you should eat (or drink) right before a workout!
Preworkout nutrition is about how to properly fuel your body for whatever exercise you're about to do without causing any stomach upset, cramping, nausea, etc. The main nutrient to focus on pre-exercise is carbohydrates, specifically simple carbohydrates. Check out this post to learn more about simple versus complex carbs!
Simple carbohydrates are lower in fiber than complex, so our bodies easily digest and absorb them. For this reason, they provide a "quick" energy source, which is what we want closer to our workouts. Good simple carbs to consume preworkout include:
Preworkout Meal Timing
What to eat 30 minutes before a workout is all about timing. If we're able to have a balanced meal before a workout, I recommend doing that 3-4 hours beforehand. This will all depend on how your body feels when eating a decent-sized meal before working out: some people can tolerate it and others can't. There is some trial and error to this as you learn what you're able to handle!
When you're closer to workout and want a snack or if you prefer morning workouts and don't want to wake up 4 hours earlier to eat a balanced breakfast, I suggest consuming primarily simple carbohydrates. See the list above for some ideas! Again, preferences are very individualized. Some people can eat more before a workout, while others can only handle a handful of pretzels. Anything is better than nothing so start slow and try different options!
Some of my favorite pre-workout snacks are:
- Fruity granola bars
- Carrot cake breakfast cookies
- Frozen banana pudding bars
- Cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins
- Crispy roasted chickpeas
- Homemade tortilla chips
- Toast with a thin layer of natural peanut butter
- A handful of dry cereal, pretzels, or Goldfish
- A small glass of 100% fruit juice or sports drink
What to Eat 30 Minutes Before a Workout - Final Thoughts
The focus of preworkout nutrition is carbohydrates, primarily simple carbohydrates. What to eat 30 minutes before a workout will depend on what you can tolerate. The goal is to consume 15-30g of carbohydrate ~30 minutes before a workout in order to give your body "quick" energy or top off fuel reserves (aka glycogen in your muscle).
If you liked this post, check out my macronutrients 101 series!
- Macronutrients 101: Facts About Carbohydrates
- Macronutrients 101: Facts About Protein
- Macronutrients 101: Facts About Fat