The Best Keto Pre-Workout Snacks
When you follow a keto diet, you have to be mindful of what you eat as a pre-workout snack.
As if keeping fit wasn’t tricky enough, you now have to keep your carbs low and fats high.
With the Keto movement increasing in popularity, there’s now a lot more keto-friendly options to choose from.
Find out which pre-workout snacks are best to support your goals without ruining your ketogenic diet…
What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carbohydrate diet. Typically under 50grams of carbs a day. The keto diet is beneficial for a variety of reasons including:
- weight loss
- reducing intake of processed foods sugar
- help with conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy.
Keto diets have increased in popularity in the last few years, especially for those wanting to lose weight.
Because of this increased popularity, there are now a ton of keto snacks available to make things a bit easier.
How your body uses energy on a keto diet “Ketosis”
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates or sugar.
When you eat fewer carbohydrates than your body can use for energy, your liver converts stored fat into fatty acids known as ketones. These feed your cells instead of glucose. This results in burning more calories than usual which aids to weight loss.
Why “Normal” Pre-Workout Snacks Don’t Work for Keto
Many pre-workout snacks have a high carb content and low fat. These snacks are off the menu if you're following a keto diet.
Following a low carb diet does definitely limit the kinds of pre-workout snacks you can have.
There are some low-carb options, that you can eat if you're following a keto diet. Here are some of our favourites.
The Best Keto Pre-Workout Snacks
Total XP Protein Crunch
Love Crisps? Try the new protein packed alternative with Total XP protein crunch available in Chilli Hotness, Epic Cheese and Smoky BBQ flavour.
Total XP protein crunch are low carb, vegetarian friendly, gluten free and palm oil free.
Energy KJ: 441
Fat : 4.1 g
of which Saturates : 2.4 g
Carbohydates : 4 g
of which Sugar : 2.1 g
Fibre : 0.3 g
Protein : 13.1 g
Salt : 0.9 g
Beef Biltong is a rich, meaty pre-workout treat, to ensure you hit your goals and keep your hunger at bay!
We would recommend Jack Links Original Beef Biltong which includes no artificial ingredients or MSG, 13g of protein and 67 calories per serving.
Energy KJ: 283
Fat : 1.3 g
of which Saturates : 0.5 g
Carbohydates : 0.8 g
of which Sugar : 0.5 g
Fibre : 0 g
Protein : 13.3 g
Salt : 1.4 g
Cheesies are perfect for cheese lovers who want to enjoy their cravings on the go. Cheesies are high protein, low calorie, contain 100% cheese, no carbs and no sugar.
Per pack/portion Cheddar Cheesies:
Energy KJ: 506
Fat : 10 g
of which Saturates : 6 g
Carbohydates : 0 g
of which Sugar : 0 g
Fibre : 0 g
Protein : 7 g
Salt : 1 g
Pork Puffs Keto Crisps are a healthy keto snack ideal for before or after the gym, lunchbox snacks & anything in between.
We would recommend The Curators Pork Puffs available in original salted, cheese and smoky bacon flavour.
Per pack/portion Original Salted Pork Puffs:
Energy KJ: 556
Fat : 7 g
of which Saturates : 2.8 g
Carbohydates : 0 g
of which Sugar : 0 g
Fibre : 0.1 g
Protein : 17.5 g
Salt : 1 g
Most berries are recommended in a keto diet as they are low carb fruits and they also contain a lot of antioxidants that are good to fuel your workout.
Many yogurts are full of sugar and not suitable for keto diets, however you can grab an unsweetened full fat Greek yogurt and add a keto sweetener. To make your pre-workout snack even more fulfilling, add some delicious berries.
Keto Fat Bombs
Fat bombs are small bites of goodness that are very popular among keto dieters. These balls include ingredients such as nut butter, cocoa, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and no carb sweeteners.
Keto fat bombs are easy to make, take a look at this Keto chocolate fat bombs with nutty cheesecake center recipe from Ketogenic.
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup almonds, crushed
⅓ cup powdered erythritol
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: any chopped berries, nuts, or keto chocolate chips
1 cup keto chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil
Optional: keto white chocolate chips for decoration
- In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese until soft and creamy (about 40 seconds).
- Mix in the swerve and vanilla for another 40 seconds or until well incorporated.
- Stir in the nuts and mix well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wet your hand and start rolling the dough into balls that are about 2-3 inches diameter.
- Place onto a baking sheet and freeze for at 30 min- hour.
- In a microwavable-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil.
- Place in the microwave and heat in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted.
- Using a spoon, drop one of the fat bombs into the melted chocolate, roll around to fully coat in the chocolate, remove by scooping with the spoon and then drop onto parchment paper.
- Repeat until all of the keto fat bombs are fully coated in chocolate.
- Place the keto chocolate fat bombs in the fridge and allow to harden (15-20 minutes).
- Optional: melt white chocolate chips and coconut oil the same as the previous chocolate melting step.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag or ziplock bag (cut a hole at the bottom if using a ziplock bag) and drizzle melted white chocolate over the keto fat bombs.
- Place in the fridge again and allow to harden.
- Serve your keto chocolate fat bombs immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Stimulants & Other Energy Boosters
As well as pre-workout snacks, there are other supplements and stimulants that can increase your gym performance.
NOCCO Energy Drinks are sugar free, carb free, ready-to-drink beverages packed with BCAAs, caffeine and vital vitamins. These low-calorie bursts of energy to help fuel your muscles during exercise and aid in muscle repair.
Browse our selection of different NOCCO Drink flavours such as Caribbean, Blood Orange, Juicy Melba, Limon Del Sol and more.
Many pre workout supplements contain an ingredient called "nitric oxide". Nitric oxide is an essential molecule required for overall health. Nitric oxide or NO is a vasodilator. This signals the blood vessels to relax, allowing them to expand. This allows blood, nutrients, and oxygen to flow freely to every part of your body.
By supplementing your diet with a pre-workout containing nitric oxide, you can enjoy enhanced pumps in the gym.
Should you eat carbs before a workout on a keto diet?
The Targeted Ketogenic Diet, or TKD, is a standard keto diet that allows for carbohydrate intake around your workout times. This means any day you exercise; you will typically be consuming pre workout carbs.
Your goal would be to use them immediately to aid a high-intensity workout. Some people like dextrose, which can be found in pre-workout drinks and snacks, however a more natural option is potatoes or rice.
Can you take pre-workout on keto?
Yes - you can use pre-workout supplements and drinks on a keto diet. If you are going to take a pre-workout supplement check the nutrition info. It should have zero or very few carbohydrates per serving, so that this doesn’t disrupt your keto diet.
Is it better to eat before or after a workout on a keto diet?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to eating before or after your workout on a keto diet. Many people believe that you will struggle in your workout, should you have no carbohydrates for energy, however this is not the case.
Your body doesn’t need carbohydrates to perform. In fact, on a keto diet, you can workout on an empty stomach and still have enough energy for your workout. One of the advantages of being keto is that your body is in fat-burning mode, which means during exercise you can tap into stored body fat for workout fuel.
Studies have shown that people on a ketogenic diet burn over twice as much fat during exercise compared to those fuelling themselves with carbohydrates.
So, if your primary goal is fat burning, not eating before exercise may be a great way to maximise your efforts.
Whether you're following a ketogenic diet or not, post-workout nutrition is an important factor for how well your body handles workout recovery. During this time, snacks high in protein are in order.
People sometimes fear eating too much protein on a ketogenic diet, because they think it will be converted to glucose in the body and potentially kick them out of ketosis.
Although this conversion from protein to glucose does occur, it is a demand-driven process, meaning your body only converts protein into sugar when it needs sugar for uses such as cells in the body that can only use sugar for energy or to help replenish glycogen after exercise.
Regardless, you shouldn’t fear protein consumption, especially since many ketogenic dieters don't eat enough.
Can you drink energy drinks on a keto diet?
You can drink energy drinks on a keto diet, as long as they are not loaded with sugar. Energy drinks containing no carbs are best, such as NOCCO.
What is the best time to eat before a workout on a keto diet?
Most people find eating 30 minutes to 3 hours is optimal for their workout, however this totally depends on the individual. You could try eating half an hour before your gym session and assess your energy levels and increase your time gradually to find a routine that works best for you.