Pre-Workout Nutrition to Maximize Performance

Some days you may have an amazing energetic workout where you feel unstoppable. Other days you may go into your workout feeling lethargic and struggle from start to end.

Poor workouts can be from several things, from lack of sleep, to a negative mind set. But the most overlooked reason for substandard workouts is an inadequate pre-workout meal.


How Important Is It to Have A Good Nutritious Pre-Workout Meal?

Nutrition is the most important factor in the bodybuilding industry, perhaps even more so than training. Many gym fanatics know the importance of a good post workout meal, getting in fast digesting proteins, complex carbohydrates and some high GI carbs. But did you know that the pre-workout meal can be just as important.

A good pre-workout meal will ensure you have the energy to train at your highest level. It will allow you to push through those last few reps and increase your weights. Good pre-workout nutrition will determine a mediocre bodybuilder to a superior well-defined bodybuilder. There’s no question that a sound pre-workout nutritional regime is critical for maximizing muscle gains.

PHASE ONE: Roughly 2-Hours Before Training

Eat your main pre-workout meal 2 hours before training. This allows the body enough time to properly digest and absorb the nutrients into the body, ready to be used as energy. 2 hours allows plenty of time for insulin levels to go back to normal. This is important as insulin affects your body’s ability to burn fat.

Moderate to slow digesting carbohydrates

Think of the human body like a car. The body needs carbohydrates to train, just as a car needs fuel to move. A good source of carbohydrate is the most important factor in your workout performance.

A slow digesting carbohydrate will ensure you have sustainable energy to make it through your entire workout without burning out.

List of slow digesting carbohydrates to consider eating approximately 2 hours before training;

  • Brown Rice

  • Sweet Potato

  • (Gluten free) Rolled oats

  • Banza Pasta

Pro tip: Stay away from too much fiber and sugar pre workout as it will lead to gastric upset and burning out of energy.

Lean Proteins

Choose sources of lean low-fat proteins pre workout. Every meal when bodybuilding needs its protein, the building blocks of muscle. Consider a low-fat source of protein in your pre workout meal that is packed with amino acids.


Make sure the body is adequately hydrated. When the body isn’t at optimum fluid it will experience a lack of energy and performance. Always drink plenty of water and stay hydrated before, throughout and after your workout.

Phase 2: 45 minutes before training

Take in a fast digesting carbohydrate like an orange before training. This will give you an extra boost of exercise intensity and improve your workout performance immensely.

Remember a good pre-workout meal is just as important as a post-workout meal.