Do you ever get tired in the middle of a workout? Or maybe you have days when the weights feel heavier ... the workout seems harder ... and you just can't move as much as you normally would? I know I sure have!
Nothing feels worse than picking up a weight that you’re used to warming up with and it feels heavy! At the same time, there’s nothing fun about running out of gas much earlier than you normally do during a workout.
Almost every time this happens to me, it's because I haven’t eaten or I haven’t eaten enough.
This is why so many athletes make sure they have a pre-workout snack to help fuel them to perform their best!
However, athlete or not, having a pre-workout snack can be beneficial for all of us. So, let’s talk about what pre-workout snacks will be best for you and your goal(s). That way, you can perform at your best and earn the results you’re truly after!
Will Pre-Workout Snacks Help You Reach Your Goals?
Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to gain muscle? Or do you just want to perform better in general? No matter what your goal is, pre-workout snacks can help.
Now, there is a lot of bad information circulating the internet about what it takes to see results. This is especially true when it comes to weight loss.
For one, it’s very easy to assume that if you want to lose weight … you should not eat a pre-workout snack. A lot of people will tell you that working out fasted will help you burn more fat. However, this is not the truth.
If adding in more fuel before your workout can help you push harder, then you should take advantage of that! Moving some of your calories before a workout could help you perform better and burn more calories!
For weight loss though, being in a calorie deficit is what matters most. The timing of when you eat is a lot less relevant.
Now, if your goal is to gain weight and build muscle, eating a pre-workout snack can be very beneficial. If you give your body good fuel for your training session, it could help you squeeze out a few more reps to gain muscle and strength.
So, in short, the answer is yes, pre-workout snacks can help fuel your body for better workouts, which can ultimately lead to better long-term results.
But which pre-workout snacks are best for you?
What Are The Best Pre-Workout Snacks For Performance?
When it comes to training, carbohydrates will always be the best pre-workout snack. That’s because carbohydrates are your muscles' primary source of fuel!
Your muscles use carbs when you resistance train or your heart rate gets above the maximum aerobic function output (180 - Your Age).
Even if you are doing intense forms of cardio, carbohydrates will still be the best form of fuel. If you are doing low-intensity, steady-state cardio … your body will be using fats as fuel.
In this case, you don’t even really need fuel to perform these low-intensity activities.
I’m sure you’re wondering, “Which carbs make for the best pre-workout snacks?” Well, this will depend a lot on when you are planning to eat them.
If you are short on time, or you work out early in the morning, then simple carbohydrates will be the best choice! Simple carbs will digest within about 45 minutes, meaning they will be good choices to use here.
When you have an hour or more before your workout, this is where you can take advantage of complex carbohydrates and a good protein source.
What Are Good Simple Carbohydrates to Use as a Pre-Workout Snack?
Carbohydrates are like chain links. The longer the chain link, the longer it takes for your body to break down and digest. Each link in the chain represents a sugar molecule.
Simple carbohydrates will be made up of either 1 or 2 links in the chain. These are called monosaccharides, and disaccharides.
So, if you plan to eat within an hour of your workout, simple carbohydrates will break down fast and give you energy for your workout. Some examples you can use would be:
• White Bread
• White Rice
• Glucose Powder
Now, if you plan on eating more than an hour before your workout, it may be more advantageous for you to eat a complex carbohydrate.
What Are Good Complex Carbohydrates to Use as a Pre-Workout Snack?
Complex carbohydrates are classified as anything with three or more links in those chains. These are called polysaccharides. The more links in the chain, the more complex the carbohydrate source becomes.
When you have an hour or more before your workout, this is when you can take advantage of them.
• Sweet Potatoes
• Brown Rice
• Whole Wheat Bread
Normally, it also makes sense to pair this kind of pre-workout snack with a good source of protein too. Whether that is chicken, beef, fish, or anything else, this protein can help your body preserve lean muscle during your workout.
Are There Any Pre-Workout Supplements You Can Take?
Any time you can, I recommend fueling your body with whole foods. Now, I understand that eating a whole-food meal or snack isn’t always the most convenient option.
That’s why there are also supplements that you can take in replacement of a pre-workout snack when you need it. At 1st Phorm, we have a great option for you called Ultra-Formance.
Ultra-Formance is a supplement that is a mixture of different carbs and electrolytes designed to keep your body fueled. You can use Ultra-Formance as a pre-workout and even as an intra-workout to keep you going!
Are You Seeing The Results You Want to See?
With the right pre-workout snack, you can have far greater energy and endurance for your workouts. This can be true whether you’re playing sports, lifting weights, or even going for a hike.
But even still, what you do for your pre-workout snack isn’t going to make or break your results. Seeing progress toward your goals comes down to your nutrition and exercise regimen as a whole.
If you’re having trouble seeing the results you truly want, or you’re unsure where to start … Download the 1st Phorm App!
The 1st Phorm App is the all-in-one tool for all of your health and fitness goals. Inside the app, you’ll get access to:
• Nutrition tracking and programming
• Custom workouts designed for your goals
• 1-on-1 messaging with a certified advisor
• Educational live streams
• Progress tracking and body metric measuring
You’ll get everything you’ll need to crush your goals and keep seeing results long-term.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches is here to talk from 6 AM to 10 PM Central every day! Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com anytime.ABOUT THE AUTHOR