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18th Jul 2018

Trying to be good? Eat these foods BEFORE heading to the gym

Don't forget your workout fuel.

Run home. Change clothes. Rush to make spin class before it fills up. Do spin. Feel extremely dizzy after.

If the above sounds familiar, chances are you’re forgetting to fuel up pre-workout and having learned the hard way, that’s a really bad idea.

When you neglect a snack before strenuous exercise, then you run the risk of low blood sugar which means afore-mentioned dizziness.

It depends on how much time you have before a workout too. If you have a couple of hours, you can fuel up on carbs and protein with a carefully prepared meal but if you’re running from work to the gym you’ll need some handy snack options too.

Trail mix topped with yogurt

Seeds and nuts prevent your insulins levels from dropping in the middle of your workout and together, with dried fruits, you’re getting a quick boost of energy.

It’s important to add a little yogurt too because while seeds and nuts are high in healthy fats, they can take longer to digest. Adding yogurt helps to move the process along.

Apple and peanut/almond butter

This is another handy snack that you can grab on the go and helps you push that extra little bit when you feel like giving up.

While you might think an apple alone is enough to keep the hunger pangs at bay, pairing it with peanut or almond butter ensures a slower release of energy, exactly what you want ahead of a gruelling spin/weights class.

‘Good’ carbs

It drives me slightly mad when people speak about carbohydrates like they’re the devil reincarnated. The fact is carbohydrates are necessary for energy and are perfectly healthy when consumed in moderation.

Try a slice of wholemeal toast topped with a poached egg if you have time and if you’re in a rush, cut a banana into chunks instead.

A snack that’s easy, nutritious and provides a slow release of energy throughout your workout.


It might be a little a little boring but again, it’s a quick (healthy) fix that’s a much better choice than a protein bar that contains hidden sugars and fats etc.

They’re grand now and again but if you have oatmeal/porridge to hand, add some berries and a little drizzle of honey (if you have a sweet tooth) and you’ve fuelled up perfectly.

What should you avoid then?

Spicy foods should be avoided pre-workout because they can cause bloating, gas and heartburn which means your workout is over before it even starts.

While greens are a staple part of a healthy diet, do not eat them before heading to the gym. Leafy greens contain a lot of fibre and this can lead to gas and stomach bloating.

Having had a green juice/smoothie amalgamation before I left the house this morning, I can attest to the bloating and I for one will be avoiding them like the plaque before any gym outings.