What to Eat Before a Workout

Best Healthy Workout Snacks | Wake the Wolves

Healthy snacks to the rescue. But wait. What do you eat before a workout? Or wait…maybe you don’t even have time for a workout.

Damn. It’s nearly May, you are busier than busy, and you still CAN’T get your act together when it comes to MOVING YOUR BODY. Maybe you did great back in the first few weeks of January. You woke up earlier, got a power-walk in during the week, or even signed-up for the New Year’s fitness deals that bombarded your email in-box. Does the “$30 for 30 days of yoga” ring a bell? Or how about that promise to hit the gym.

If you are on the other side of the bridge, maybe you never even got that far and your goal to “be healthy” this year, stopped at a scribbled thought in your head.

Not to worry. We can relate 110%.

Inspired by YOU, we thought it was time to share a few ideas to get you moving – including a few energy boosting foods for pre-workout (and post-workout) snacks.


SO LET’S Identify the Excuses

The first step towards making a difference in your MOVING patterns (or lack thereof), is to identify the EXCUSES.

  1. YOU ARE TOO BUSY (aka – there is NO time)

    We hate to tell you this, but there is always TIME. It really just has to do with your perspective of how to best use your time. When you look at MOVING YOUR BODY as an extracurricular, nice-to-have, non-essential component of life, it will always get dropped to the bottom of the list.

    Your task this week » Dig a little deeper. If your goal to move your body is only there because you want to lose weight, it may not be important enough. Can your goals be tied to something a little deeper (i.e. – having the physical ability to run with your kids or live a long, healthy life)?

  2. YOU HAVEN’T TRIED (long enough)

    So your judgmental about how you spend your time because moving your body may not actually feel that great in comparison to dinner, tv, and bed. “Move my body = expend more energy” vs. “eat and veg = numb out from the day.”

    Your task this week » Give it a try. If you haven’t moved your body (with intention) for a 2-week period, you aren’t giving your body a chance to see the benefits. Let your body decide (not your mind) and commit to at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day (and no it doesn’t have to be at a gym).

  3. YOU ARE HUNGRY (and tired)

    How can you MOVE your body if your stomach is grumbling and you have zero energy? If you wake up tired, your too hungry at lunch time, and you are mentally and physically exhausted come 6pm, you can forget all possibilities that moving your body will actually happen.

    Your task this week »  Enjoy energy-boosting foods. When you understand how to properly fuel your body to make MOVEMENT a reality, you will feel amazing.


Eat to Energize

Being TOO TIRED and TOO HUNGRY to move your body can be huge obstacles that get in the way from you actually doing what you said you were going to do: “i.e. – the 20-minute walk between meetings” or “the strength gym-class after work.”

We’re going to keep this simple, because it really doesn’t need to be that complicated.

Type, size, and timing matters!!!
Type, size, and timing matters!!!
Type, size, and timing matters!!!
Type, size, and timing matters!!!
Type, size, and timing matters!!!



Choose foods that include complex-carbohydrates (aka – foods that take longer to break down in the body). Enjoying foods like a ½ of an apple, a few veggie sticks, or leftover LOADED kale salad, will help to slowly release energy into the blood stream without a huge energy surge or crash.

At the same time, you want to avoid simple-carbohydrates (aka – foods that quickly break down in the body), like candy, sweet drinks, and unfortunately many pre-packaged, high-in-sugar energy bars.

What else do you eat?

In conjunction with these complex-carbohydrate foods, you want to add in a little protein + healthy fats. A tablespoon of almond butter or a handful (about 8-10 almonds or walnuts) create a perfect pairing to keep you going. Soft (or hard) boiled eggs or home-made yogurt dip are great additions as well. Once protein is broken down, amino acids are readily available in the blood to replenish and repair.

Here’s how to make your own ALMOND BUTTER. So – frickin – easy!


The PORTION of your pre-workout snacks need to be in conjunction with the level of physical activity that you are going to participate in. If you are going on a light walk, you don’t need to fuel-up the same as you would if you were to do a 60-minute hardcore sprint and core session.

Start small. You can always eat more.

  • ½ or whole apple with 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1-2 boiled eggs
  • 10-15 almonds or walnuts
  • 6-12 veggie sticks with 2 tablespoons of yogurt dip


This is a big one. If you eat immediately before you workout, know that what you consume is not going to be digested in-time for your activities. All you are doing is subsiding your hunger pain, which is ok – just not helpful for your energy issue.

It takes time for your body to break down the foods you eat for energy. The snacks listed above are great to have about 1-2 hours before your workout. Heavier meals are likely to take up to about 3-4 hours to break-down for energy.

So – when you have a walk-date, a personal training session, a home workout, or a yoga/fitness class scheduled, your goal is to make sure you have some complex-carbohydrates and a little bit of protein in your system about 1-2 hours before your commitment. When you are fueled up with the proper, slow-burning, energizing foods, you are more likely to show up AND be effective with your time.


Your Strategy

Follow these simple steps to make your goals a reality:

  1. Make a commitment to move (date, time, place)
  2. Hydrate yourself with water throughout the day
  3. Prepare an energizing snack
  4. Eat your snack about 1-2 hours before your activities
  5. Show up and make it happen

Remember this »  You are more likely to MOVE YOUR BODY when you fuel yourself with healthy, whole, real foods. At the same time, you are more likely to eat healthy, whole, real foods, when you MOVE YOUR BODY. It works hand-in-hand.

Now gets-sta-steppin!

Kale. All Day. Err Day.

If you like this post, checkout more nutritious and healthy living tips in our latest interactive book, Kale. All Day. Err Day. It’s enhanced and interactive for a super fun, learning experience. It’s filled with a great story all about kale, how-to videos, and recipes for the busy and the hungry. Did we mention, it’s FREE…for a limited time. Hurry – check it out here. (New book coming late 2016…)


Kale. All Day. Err Day. | Wake the Wolves


Want more free stuff like this?

Sign up for the fresh n' FREE updates.

Written By


Stephanie Wong

Recommended Posts

  • http://www.madrat.com Energy Drink Dude

    I feel these are good tips. I have tried to eat small items like a fish taco 1 to 2 hours before an MMA workout and it just doesnt break down fast enough. I paid a price of being uncomfortable during the work out, burping etc…. I think the almond butter and apple idea could work and will consider that for some needed energy during what can be a at times very demanding workouts.

    • stephanie

      Yes! Don’t make your digestive system work too hard right before a very intense workout. It’s stress your body doesn’t need. Try these suggestions out and let us know what works (or doesn’t). Thanks for sharing!!!