What to Eat Before a Workout: Pre-Workout Nutrition

What to Eat Before a Workout: Pre-Workout Nutrition: Combining carbs with protein before a workout can help improve performance and recovery. Staying hydrated is also important and certain supplements such as creatine or caffeine may be beneficial.

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are always looking for ways to improve their performance and achieve their goals.

Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout.

Consuming optimal nutrients before exercise will not only help maximize your performance but also reduce muscle damage ( 1Trusted Source ).

What to Eat Before a Workout: Pre-Workout Nutrition
What to Eat Before a Workout: Pre-Workout Nutrition

Here’s everything you need to know about pre-workout nutrition.

Pre-Workout Nutrition

What to Eat Before a Workout: Pre-Workout Nutrition: Providing your body with the right nutrients before exercise will give you the energy and strength you need to perform at your best.

Each macronutrient has a specific role to play before a workout. However, the proportion in which you need to consume them varies by individual and type of exercise ( 1Trusted Source ).

Below is a brief look at the role of each macronutrient.


Your muscles use the glucose from carbs for fuel.

Glycogen is the way the body processes and stores glucose, mainly in the liver and muscles.

For short, high-intensity workouts, your glycogen stores are your muscles main source of energy (1Trusted Source).

But for longer workouts, the extent to which carbs are used depends on a number of factors. These include intensity, type of training, and your overall diet (1Trusted Source).

Your muscles have limited glycogen stores. As these stores are depleted, your output and intensity decline (1Trusted Source).

Studies have consistently shown that carbs can increase glycogen stores and utilization by promoting carb oxidation during exercise ( 2Trusted Source ).

Carb loading, which involves consuming a high-carb diet for 1–7 days, is a well-known method of maximizing glycogen stores ( 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source ).


Several studies have documented the potential for pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance.

Eating protein (alone or with carbs) before exercise has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis ( 5Trusted Source ).

One small study found that consuming 25 grams of whey protein before exercise increased whole-body anabolism, or muscle growth, compared to a placebo ( 6Trusted Source ).

Other benefits of eating proteins before exercise include (6 Source Confable, 7 Source Confable, 8 Source Confable, 9 Source Confable)

  • Desarrollo muscular
  • Mejorar la recuperación muscular
  • Aumento de la fuerza y ​​la masa corporal magra
  • Aumento del rendimiento muscular


While glucose is used for short, high-intensity workouts, fat is the fuel source for long, moderate-to-low-intensity workouts.

Few studies have examined the effects of fat intake on athletic performance. However, these studies focused on diets high in fats over a long period of time, rather than prior to exercise ( 11Trusted Source ).

For example, one review found that following a diet low in carbs and high in fat can improve body composition and increase peak oxygen consumption when combined with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) ( 12Trusted Source ).

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