What’s a Good Pre-Workout Meal?

what's a pre-workout meal

The food that you consume before you exercise can have some serious implications on the workout itself.  There is a long list of foods you should avoid eating in the hours before your workout and a much shorter list of consumables that you should consider ingesting prior to a workout.  What exactly, will be entirely up to you but try to keep in mind the more rigorous and vigorous workouts will benefit from a different pre-workout diet than a longer, cardio focused workout.  Today we’re going to identify what’s a good pre-workout meal and what you should consider eating before the two types of workouts and why.

Pre-Workout Meal for Cardio Exercise

So, you’re on the cardio kick, eh?  Are you a distance runner?  A swimmer?  Cyclist?  It really doesn’t matter.  If you’re preparing for a session of exercise that will keep your heart rate elevated and keep your body moving, you’re going to need as much energy as you can muster.  Your diet will need to consist of almost no fat and sugar, a decent amount of protein, and a hefty amount of carbohydrates.  The protein will help your muscles recuperate and fight off fatigue while the carbohydrates will provide you with the energy needed to make it through your cardio workout [1].

You can use Fulcrum, our pre-workout supplement, to increase stamina and energy to power through your long workouts.

For cardio enthusiasts, the pre-workout meal for our body can be likened to the gasoline before a long trip for our car.  You want to make sure you can fill the tank while you’re at the pump so that you don’t break down 2/3 of the way through your travels.  Same goes for the pre-workout meal.  You want to make sure you give your body everything it needs to have a successful workout so that you don’t quit before you hit your goal.

Here are a few suggestions of pre-workout meals for the cardio trainers, keeping in mind meals should be consumed 90 minutes before the exercise starts:

  • Hardboiled eggs with a couple slices of cheese and/or a small piece of chicken or fish.
  • Oatmeal mixed with raisins or strawberries
  • Fruit smoothie made with yogurt or almond milk
  • Spinach Salad loaded with carrot sticks, radishes, and peppers

Pre-Workout Meal for Weight Training

Ahhh, so you’re hitting the weights, huh?  Looking to get the most out of your curls?  Want to make sure you hit that extra rep to record a new PR on the deadlift?  Well, if you’re preparing for a session of exercise that will really push your muscles and put your drive to the test, you are going to need to really get your juices flowing.  Your diet should consist of a small bit of fat, and a 50/50 split between carbs and protein.  The carbs will give you the energy you need to pick the weights up (repeatedly) and the protein will make sure the growth and repair takes place the moment you put the weights down at the end of your session [2].

For strength training enthusiasts, pre-workout meals are going to look a little different than the ones listed in the previous section.  Consume one of these meals roughly 60 minutes before your workout:

  • Protein shake and protein bar
  • Eggs prepped any way you like them with some toast
  • Fruit and yogurt parfait with granola added
  • Baked potato and chicken cutlet


  1. Pasiakos SM1, McLellan TM, Lieberman HR.
    The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review.
    Sports Med. 2015 Jan;45(1):111-31. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2. PMID: 25169440 DOI: 10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2
  2. Michael J. Ormsbee,1,2,* Christopher W. Bach,1 and Daniel A. Baur1
    Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance
    Nutrients. 2014 May; 6(5): 1782–1808. Published online 2014 Apr 29. doi: 10.3390/nu6051782
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