Food & Nutrition Science

Nutritionist-Approved, Protein-Packed Snacks for Pre-Workout

Providing your body with the carbohydrates and protein it needs is absolutely essential for fueling a successful workout. In fact, according to experts at Livestrong: “You can maximize your workout as well as your energy throughout the day if you eat the right foods pre sweat session.” 

As a nutritionist, you will want to advise your clients to eat between 45 and 60 minutes before each workout, depending on what they choose to eat and the intensity of the workout. For example, if your client is going to perform a high-intensity interval workout he or she may want to reach for something lighter, like bananas or an apple with almond butter, but we will get into the pre-workout snacks in a moment. 

Seven Protein-Packed Snacks to Fuel Your Clients’ Next Workouts

Steel-cut or old-fashioned oatmeal with chia seeds

Oats are notorious for keeping energy levels up and consistent during a workout, which is probably why it ranked high on Men’s Fitness’s best pre-workout foods: “Oats are full of fiber, which means they gradually release carbohydrates into your bloodstream.” And despite the high-contents of fiber, your clients won’t have to worry about gas or indigestion during their workouts. Top the oatmeal with chia seeds for added energy. 


Protein shake

While protein shakes are fairly light, they can do wonders for your workout, such as increased and sustained energy. Advise your clients to avoid protein shakes that are packed with sugar or glycerol, as those ingredients tend to counteract the positives of fueling up on a protein shake. 

Fruit and nut bars

Fruit and nut bars will give your clients the energy they need to fuel their muscles and keep their hunger at bay. These are an especially great option for your clients that are constantly on the go and need something quick.

Dried fruit

Just like a fruit and nut bar, dried fruit is great when your clients need something quick. If they happen to snack on this right before your workout, not to worry. Dried fruit is such a light snack that it won’t be detrimental to the workout or performance. 


Bananas are a healthy source of carbohydrates, so they will work to fuel your clients body during and even after each workout. Bonus, they also aid in healthy potassium levels which maintain muscle and nerve function. 

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is high in protein, but low in sugar, making it a better option over regular yogurt. For an even healthier snack, add cinnamon to help improve brain function and even stabilize blood sugar levels. 

Apple and almond butter

Nutrients, check. Protein and healthy fat, double check. This combination of complex carbohydrates is the staple snack that your clients need to feel energized and sustained throughout their workouts.

To ensure that your clients avoid burning muscle after each workout, encourage them to grab a healthy snack, such as the ones we listed above. With the right foods, your clients will burn more calories and improve their performance to feel healthy and energized all day long


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