5 Pre-Workout Meals

Written by  //  Sweat Fuel  //  Comments Off on 5 Pre-Workout Meals

Laura Smith MSc, Head Nutritionist at Kcal Healthy Fast Food reveals which meals help boost performance

Nutrition plays an enormous role in performance and recovery, so carefully planning what you eat can optimise performance and reduce fatigue as well as aid with recovery and energy stores. Timing and preparation are everything. Some foods can be easily digested and enter the blood stream very quickly which can improve performance; however, others can increase cramps, fatigue and decrease performance. If heavy undigested food is in the stomach, blood is required in the stomach to digest the food. This is pulling the blood away from the muscles where it is needed during exercise to carry oxygen to sustain performance.

A pre-workout meal should consist of: 70 per cent carbs (go for complex carbs, such as sweet potato, oats, vegetables to fuel workouts, and replenish glycogen stores),  20 per cent protein (essential for fuelling your muscles during training) and only 10 per cent fat (fat takes a long time to digest and will take blood to the stomach to digest the food).

Meal choices depend on the type of exercise you’re going to perform (endurance, weights, strength etc.), the goal the individual has (weight loss, muscle gain etc.) and also, what an individual can tolerate before exercising. How much someone can eat pre-workout is down to each individual.


Kcal tuna salad
Eggs are the highest bioavailable protein (protein available to be absorbed by the body) and therefore are great to eat before muscle building exercise.  This salad is high in carbohydrates with green beans and salad, packed with protein from egg and tuna, and topped off with essential fat from olives.

Beetroot salad
In the health and fitness word, beetroot is causing quite a stir. Studies have indicated that beetroot could improve endurance. Although the specific science is still unclear, it is believed that the naturally occurring nitrates found in this sour tasting vegetable can help reduce blood pressure and may positively influence responses to exercise. In the body, nitrate is converted into nitric acid. This dilates blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen required when exercising – perfect for endurance exercise.

Stuffed chicken
Chow down on chicken stuffed with asparagus and feta and serve with root vegetables including beetroot, sweet potato and fennel. This is the perfect combination of protein, from the chicken, carbohydrates from the asparagus and vegetables and fat from the feta cheese. This dish is perfect for all training, strength, muscle building, circuit training and endurance. The complex carbohydrate of sweet potato has the ability to top up depleted  glycogen stores in the body. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in the muscles to fuel exercise.

Lentil soup
Beans and lentils contain both protein and complex carbohydrates. This means the energy will be released slowly. This makes them great for more endurance workouts. Soup is also a great option as it is light on the stomach and is high in fluids.

Coffee smoothie
This is the perfect combination of whey protein, carbohydrates and caffeine.  Studies after study have significantly proven that caffeine can improve performance by enhancing energy levels. However, avoid carbonated caffeine drinks as the sugar and gas could cause stomach pain whilst exercising.


To find out more about Kcal or to make an appointment with Laura visit www.kcalhealthyfastfood.com/



About the Author

View all posts by