99 Amazing Pre-Workout Snacks to Crush Your Next Workout

As a workout enthusiast, your main goal is to get your body in the absolute best shape possible.

While hitting the gym and going for a run will obviously test your body's strength and fitness level, the kind of food that you eat is equally important to the entire process. 

In fact, we argue that it’s the most important.

Eating a healthy, well-balanced snack or meal before you start getting sweaty is one of the best ways to prep yourself for an intense workout.

In this epic guide, we’ll show you 99 different recipes for pre-workout snacks that you can easily make no matter your skills in the kitchen.

Oh, and you can even filter the entire list by diet preference and workout type!​

Why Pre-Workout Nutrition is Important

Health care

Fitness freaks and body-builders everywhere always seem to put a great deal of focus on post-workout meals, but what you put into your body before you start working out deserves just as much attention.

Filling your body with proper nutrition prior to working out will allow you to see considerable gains throughout your entire body, and this is something that’s absolutely necessary if your main goal is to build up your precious muscles.

Additionally, eating a nutritious snack before even touching a dumbbell will give your body the energy it needs to keep moving in order to set a new PR.

The 3 Macros for Well-Balanced Snacks

There are a number of different factors to consider when making pre-workout snacks, but the three main things to keep in mind are the 3 macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbs.

These three components are the most effective and powerful when it comes to getting your body in the best shape possible for an intense workout, as protein aids in its recovery, fat gives you more endurance, and carbs provide your body with the energy it so desperately needs.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how each of those macros actually works:

  • FAT
  • Muscle damage is something that you’ll likely come across at one point or another during intense workouts, and this is where protein becomes extremely important. Protein is made up of amino acids, and these are the things that essentially make up the entirety of your muscles.
  • Eating snacks that are loaded with protein before working out will help your body recover more efficiently after a long, intense session at the gym, and that alone is reason enough to add more of this to your diet. However, that’s not the only benefit that it has to offer.
  • A protein-filled pre-workout snack will also promote better muscle growth, stronger body mass, and better overall performance from your muscles.

How much protein, fat, and carbs should you have in your pre-workout snacks?

Now that you know all about the 3 macronutrients and what they do, it’s time to decide how many of these you should consume in order to meet your fitness goals.

Everybody reading this likely has a different/unique goal for their body, and as such, it’s difficult to say just how many macros you should be consuming depending on what sort of results you want to see.

Macro dieting is not something that’s one-size-fits-all, but even with this being the case, there is a general rule of thumb that you can follow in order to get yourself on the right track.

Initially, you’ll want to start out with the following setup:

25 %
50 %
25 %

See how your body reacts to having a balanced spread with carbohydrates at 50% and both protein and fat comprising 25% of your meal.

Once you’ve worked with a setup like this for a while, consider seeking the advice of a nutritionist so you can pinpoint exactly what your overall diet and pre-workout snacks should consist of in order to help you get the best results and athletic performance possible.

Also, pay attention to how your body reacts to different types of foods and ​each of the three macronutrients. Some people work better with higher protein diets whereas others will feel better while consuming more carbs.

Don’t Forget to Watch the Clock

In addition to watching the amount of macros you have with your pre-workout snacks, it’s just as important to keep track of what time you actually eat them.

Although a pre-workout snack is obviously something you’ll want to eat before you go to the gym or embark on a long run, this doesn’t mean that you should start eating just 5 minutes before you start breaking a sweat.

This is a very common mistake that’s made by a lot of people when they first start out with the whole pre-workout snack game, and it’s one that we want to help you avoid.

When you eat any sort of food, your stomach needs an ample amount of time to properly digest everything. Eating immediately before you workout means that you’ll be putting physical demand on your body while it’s simultaneously trying to digest the food you just ate, and this can result in lackluster performance and/or discomfort.

What we suggest doing is to eat your pre-workout snack around 1 to 3 hours before you plan on being physically active. The exact time you choose will vary depending on how quickly your body is able to fully digest food, and this is something that you can experiment and play around with in order to find the time that works perfectly for you and your body.

99 Pre-Workout Snacks You Need to Try Right NOW

Warning: Do NOT proceed to scroll through the following recipes if you have even the slightest inkling of hunger. The below images are known to induce severe hunger pangs on an empty stomach. You've been warned. Proceed with caution...

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1. The Perfect Green Smoothie

Photo: Food Heaven Made Easy

Smoothies have often been one of the most popular go-to solutions for pre and post-workout snacks, and The Perfect Green Smoothie is one of the best out there for giving yourself a serious energy boost.

Made with green spinach, almond milk, non-fat Greek yogurt, tofu, strawberries, and chia seeds, this smoothie is packed to the gills with protein, probiotics, and more.

  • Diet Type(s): Gluten Free, Vegetarian
  • Workout Type(s): Cardio

2. Almond Date And Hemp Energy Bars

Photo: Lemons and Basil

Energy bars are another staple of the pre-workout diet plan, and while there are a lot of different ways to make them, one of our personal favorites is the Almond Date And Hemp Energy Bars.

These bars are packed with a ton of nuts and fruit, and as a result of this, they provide your body with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber that will give you the boost of energy you need without any of those nasty preservatives or artificial flavors.

  • Diet Type(s): Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan
  • Workout Type(s): High Intensity Interval Training

3. Avocado Toast With Cottage Cheese And Tomatoes

Avocado Toast

Photo: The Lemon Bowl

If you’re looking for a super quick and easy way to give yourself a little boost throughout the day that isn’t a sugary candy bar, this next recipe might be the perfect fit.

All you need is whole grain bread, low fat cottage cheese, an avocado, tomato, and salt and pepper. Create some thin bread slices on a cutting board and add 1/4 cup of cottage cheese to each one. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of this, and then top the cottage cheese with your slices of tomato and avocado. Season this with one more spritz of salt and pepper, and you’re all set and ready to go!

  • Diet Type(s): Vegetarian
  • Workout Type(s): Yoga, Cardio

4. Apple Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins

Apple Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins

Photo: Running with Spoons

Working out in the morning is great, but if you choose to do so, you’ll need a healthy pick-me-up to have for breakfast in order to power your body through your early routine.

Some folks turn to staples such as cereal and pancakes, but if you want to start the day in the best way possible, these apple oat Greek yogurt muffins will have you covered.

Eggs, oats, Greek yogurt, and raisins are some of the star ingredients here. You’ll get a healthy and natural energy boost to give your body the fuel it needs in a tasty, convenient package.

  • Diet Type(s): Vegetarian
  • Workout Type(s): Strength Training, Cardio

5. Chocolate Mint Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Mint Avocado Pudding

Photo: The Almond Eater

Even if you’re trying to watch what you eat, there’s always a time and place for dessert. Finding sweet treats that you can have prior to a solid workout is often rather challenging, but we think we’ve got the solution with this chocolate mint avocado pudding.

With avocado as the base for this pudding, you’re getting a large dose of health monounsaturated fatty acids and almost 20 vitamins and minerals that will make your body more than happy.

This chocolate and mint flavors are extremely pleasing, and the fact that this is vegan and gluten free is icing on an already amazing cake (or pudding in this case)!

  • Diet Type(s): Gluten Free, Vegan
  • Workout Type(s): Yoga

6. Chia Cherry Crunch Bites

Chia Cherry Crunch Bites

Photo: Running To The Kitchen

Getting a solid protein boost that’s also gluten-free is a very real challenge that many people face, but thankfully, these chia cherry crunch bites offer a phenomenal amount of much-needed protein without any of the gluten that often comes with it.

Some of the main ingredients include almonds, dates, chia seeds, and whey protein powder. You’ll need just around 10 minutes to put the bites together, and the end result is a quick snack that’s a great source of healthy energy before an intense workout session.

  • Diet Type(s): Gluten Free, Vegan
  • Workout Type(s): High Intensity Interval Training