Like many of you, I’m dedicating myself to a handful of workout goals in 2016, and since food is usually top-of-mind for me (ha) it begs the question: what should I be eating before exercise? When it comes to pre-workout snacks, I have a few requirements: a good mix of protein and carbs for energy, easy enough to whip up in 5 minutes or less, and not too heavy (gotta squeeze into those Lululemons, you know.) We rounded up our 10 favorite delicious ideas that will pump you up and help you perform your very best. And since I’m always on the hunt for snacking inspiration, I’d love to hear in the comments: What do you love to eat pre-workout? 

Dried Fruit 

Dried fruit has some major benefits over fresh fruit. By nature, dried fruits have more calories per serving, making them ideal for a pre-workout snack. In addition, dried fruits generally contain more fiber than fresh fruits and some dried fruits (berries especially) are packed with antioxidants. Be sure to snack on dried fruits in moderation and always opt for fruits without additives or excess sugar. Perfect snack for on-the-go.

Make your own dried fruit with this easy how-to.

Goat Cheese & Avocado Toast

Get motivated for your workout with this colorful and equally delicious avocado toast. Goat cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes make this the chicest pre-workout snack around.

Get the recipe here.

Strawberry Banana Pineapple Smoothie

Strawberry banana smoothies are a long-time workout staple. Made with gluten-free ingredients, it’s the perfect way to charge up for your workout and it’s an ideal snack for a busy lifestyle. Add some flaxseed and your favorite protein powder to amp up the classic smoothie’s nutritional value. 

Get the recipe here. 

Apple Slices and Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip

This snack is only 150 calories per serving and comes packed with 8.4 grams of protein, making it the perfect power snack before your workout. In addition, peanut butter, apples and Greek yogurt are always workout-friendly snacks that are full of protein with just the right amount of energy-boosting calories.

Get the recipe here. 

No-Bake Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars

These vegan and gluten-free bars are the perfect snack to grab on your way to the gym. Peanut butter, dates and nuts give these bars a sweet taste with all the nutrients you’ll need to sweat it out.

Get the recipe here.

Banana Sushi

Unlike traditional sushi, this fun and healthy twist is so decadent, you’ll forget you’re going to work out! Sprinkled nuts like pistachios add extra protein to this nutrient-rich snack.

Get the recipe here. 

Raspberry & Chia Seed Superfood Parfait

Delight in this healthy parfait before a workout and prepare to feel amazing the whole way through. Chia seeds, toasted coconut and almond granola and fresh fruit pack all your pre-workout snack essentials into one delicious treat.

Get the recipe here.

Toasted Coconut and Goji Berry Trail Mix

This hearty trail mix is ideal for the fitness conscious woman on the move. The coconut and goji berries provide a nutritious stockpile of proteins, carbs and sugars. Make a big batch before the workweek to always have go-to gym snack.

Get the recipe here.

Oatmeal Quinoa Power Bowl

Protein-rich ingredients like quinoa, walnuts and bananas give you all the energy you’ll need for any workout that comes your way.

Get the recipe here.

Cottage Cheese and Berries

This is a supercharged protein snack. Along with berries boasting tons of nutrients and vitamins, cottage cheese is a protein stockpile. Half a cup of cottage cheese contains about 83 calories and 14 grams of protein, making it an ideal snack for weight training, cardio or any workout in between. Add a few walnuts for even more protein.

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Comments (6)
  1. 1
    sophieccollins January 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Love this Camille!

    Do you try to have carbs everyday? I’m trying to figure out my carb intake because I’m a bit low energy when I don’t eat them but also find my workouts are more effective for toning if I don’t!

    Happy Friday!

    • Camille Styles January 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Hmm good question. I do naturally load up my diet with mostly vegetables and lean proteins, but I definitely have some carbs every day. I try to choose the better carbs like fresh fruits (usually apples and berries, or bananas in smoothies) or grains like quinoa or oatmeal. This balance feels good for optimizing my workouts, but I feel like some people’s bodies might naturally need a little more carbs for energy, so definitely listen to what your body’s telling you if you’re dragging. Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night before your workouts since I think that affects energy levels more than anything else. 🙂

    • Sara Moser January 10, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Sophie, the Precision Nutrition manual from Dr. John Berardi states that you need a minimum of 130g of Carbs/day unless you are leading up to a competition. I hope that helps. I also agree with Camille’s response to listen to your body. Not everyone adapts the same way to a low carb diet. Great post, Camille! Beautifully styled!

  2. 2
    Alyssa P January 8, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Nothing is easier for me than throwing a rice cake and almond butter with cinnamon in my bag for a little pre-workout/post-work boost!

    • Camille Styles January 9, 2016 at 7:12 am

      Ooh that is a great one! So yum – thanks for sharing Alyssa.