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    Pre-workout nutrition: what to eat, when to eat it, and what to avoid

    Posted by Team 33Shake on

    Pre-workout nutrition: what to eat, when to eat it, and what to avoid

    Getting your pre-workout nutrition right before a session makes a huge difference to performance. You’ll be able to push harder, feel more energised and gain more from any efforts with the right fuel on board before you start. For hitting your peak, the right pre-workout nutrition makes all the difference. Just as the right breakfast sets you up for the day, so the right fuel before your workout sets you up for the work ahead.

    Fortunately, there are some very simple rules to follow to hit the pre-workout nutrition sweet spot and here they are.

    Pre-workout nutrition timing: when to eat

    Timing is everything with pre-workout nutrition, but don’t worry because it’s really not as complicated as many experts like to make out. The golden rule is to base the foundation of everything on your normal mealtimes.

    For a morning workout, simply having a good breakfast will do the trick. For lunchbreak workouts or those after-work sessions a snack like the banana/peanut butter combo below will work wonders if you feel peckish, while afternoon sessions at the weekends can easily be handled simply by adjusting your breakfast and lunch times to fit.

    If you’re having a full meal before a session you’ll want to leave 1-2 hours between eating and starting your workout. Experimenting with this window will let you find your own personal sweet spot.

    Pre-workout snacks also need time for digestion, ideally around 30 minutes, although you can drop this to around 15 in the case of our Chia Energy Gels as these are designed to be used during workouts anyway.

    Pre-workout nutrition timing

    Getting the most out of your body and your session starts with the right pre-workout nutrition

    Pre workout nutrition options: what to eat

    Partly this will depend on the time of day of your workout (see below for details on timing your pre-workout nutrition right), but this menu gives you a perfect selection of options to choose from. The more you play around with these, the more you’ll be able to find your favourites and even develop further options of your own as you build on them.

    The simple key is to base everything on whole foods, keep it natural and keep it tasty. This way you max out nutrient density which is vital - the more nutrients you can pack into your pre-workout fuel, the more your body will be able to make of the session ahead.

    1 Pre-workout porridge:

    • Porridge is a such a humble staple it’s easy to forget that when made right it’s also a pre-workout powerhouse. Perfect yours with these tips:
    • Use the chunkiest oats you can find for more stable, slower-release energy, and make with milk or your preferred milk substitute
    • Avoid honey, sugar, cream or sweetners in the mix, this will only lead to a sugar crash right when you don’t want it!
    • Instead load your porridge up with nuts, seeds (flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and chia are ideal) and fruit for real power. Bananas are a brilliant porridge fruit and great pre-workout fuel, while blueberries or strawberries rock the mix perfectly too
    • As a final touch, mix in some unsweetened shredded coconut too for flavour, texture and good fats.

    Pre-workout nutrition

    Blueberries: nutrient dense, sweet, powerful and no sugar crash. Nature rocks

    2 Pre-workout raw power bowl (sweet):

    Simply put, this is a bowl of fruit, nuts and more. These take seconds to make, taste awesome and smash nutrient density. This recipe’s one of our favourites

    • Take half a chopped avocado for a hit of good fats, mix in a bowl with a chopped apple or pear for carbs
    • Now max out that nutrient density by blending in raw almonds and chia seeds for protein, coconut flakes for added good fat and cinnamon powder for taste with brilliant anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties
    • Welcome to one perfect bowl of powerful, nutrient dense pre-workout fuel

    3 Pre-workout raw power bowl (savoury):

    Just the same theory as the sweet raw power bowl, except this one’s savoury

    • Start again with half a chopped avocado for good fats, add chickpeas for carbs and protein
    • Now blend up with chopped tomatoes and courgette
    • Add olive oil and salt
    • Enjoy!

    4 Pre-workout snack #1: Banana and peanut butter

    The good old banana/peanut butter combo is a powerful and tasty hit of carbs, fats and proteins in one natural power pack

    • Rock it on toast or muffins, or go gluten-free and simply dip your banana into the peanut butter
    • Just remember to use sugar-free peanut butter, or make it even better with almond butter. Peanut butter has a lot of benefits for athletes, but it does increase acidity while almond butter doesn’t

    5 Pre-workout snack #2: 33Shake Chia Energy Gel

    Natural, nutrient dense, and super-tasty our Chia Energy Gels are an ideal pre-workout snack for anyone looking for max benefits, particularly if you’re short on time. Just add water, fruit juice or coconut water, mix up and enjoy a perfect blend of carbs, proteins and good fats with all the energy you need and no workout-wrecking sugar spikes or energy crashes.

    Pre-workout nutrition: what to avoid

    What you fuel with pre-workout matters, which is why it’s also important to avoid certain food as they can wreck your workout before you’ve even begun.

    The main pre-workout foods to avoid are:

    • Processed foods
    • Artificial sweetners
    • Sweetened soft drinks (Coke, Sprite, etc)
    • Energy drinks (Monster, Red Bull, etc)

    All will give you an energy spike, followed by a slump right when you don’t want it. They’ll also raise acidity and inflammation throughout the body, as well as restricting immune function. Keep it whole, natural and nutrient dense and watch your results go through the roof. 

    Pre-workout nutrition: race day

    With the options above you are now set for nailing your pre-workout nutrition and putting yourself in the pocket to truly unleash the best in your sessions and raise your game to a new level. There will be some days though when you need even more. We're talking race days, big training days, or those heavy training blocks with multiple sessions. All of these need everything outlined above and more. These are the days you need our Pre and Post Workout Shakes. These are an insanely nutrient-dense, super-tasty and crazy powerful blend of 33 of nature's most potent athletic superfoods to deliver everything you need for your biggest days in seconds. When you need to bring your A-game and then some, add our Shakes to your routine and prepare for pure performance. 

    33Shake pre-workout nutrition shake

    When you need to bring your A-game on race day or for those huge sessions, our Pre and Post Workout Shakes are the ultimate turbo powerpack for your pre-workout fuel

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