The Best Low Calorie Pre-Workout Snack Ideas
Diet is key when it comes to getting results in the gym. We need to eat the right foods, at the right times, and make sure we're eating the right amounts.
On a weight loss diet, its easy to feel a bit more tired and lacking energy when it's time to train. Finding snacks that are both nutritious and low in calories can be a challenge.
That's why we've compiled some of the best low calorie pre-workout snack ideas to help you feel energised without blowing your macros out of the water.
Whether you're hitting the gym, going for a run, or crushing a home workout, these snacks are sure to provide the perfect boost.
What is a Pre-Workout Snack?
A Pre-Workout snack is a quick bite to eat before your workout that helps to provide your body with the necessary energy and nutrients for a successful sweat sesh. Think of it as refuelling your car before a long drive - you need to make sure you have enough gas in the tank!
When it comes to the ideal pre-workout snack, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone's body is different and may require different fuel sources.
That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your snack:
Timing is Key
It's best to eat your pre-workout snack around 30 minutes to an hour before exercise. This gives your body enough time to digest and absorb the nutrients from your snack, allowing you to maximize your workout.
Carbs Are Your Friends
Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for your body during exercise. Opt for a snack that's high in easily digestible carbs, like a banana, apple slices with nut butter or a granola bar.
Protein Helps Build Muscle
While carbs provide the energy, protein helps to repair and build muscle. Choose a snack containing protein, such as Greek yogurt, a hard-boiled egg or even a protein shake.
Keep It Light
Your pre-workout snack should provide you with enough energy to fuel your workout without leaving you feeling weighed down.
Avoid heavy, fatty foods that can be difficult for your body to digest. Avoid red meats and fried foods as a pre-workout meal - especially if you're training less than 1 hour after eating.
Why Low-Calorie Pre-Workout Snacks?
When it comes to pre-workout nutrition, there are many different ways to approach it. Some people like to have a meal before they workout, others like to have a snack or two before working out, and some people prefer just drinking water with their pre-workout supplement.
One thing that is agreed upon by most people is that you should not consume a high calorie meal prior to working out as this will slow down digestion and absorption of nutrients which could lead to cramping during your workout.
There are also some other benefits associated with having a low-calorie pre-workout snack:
- If you are trying to lose weight or cut body fat, having a low-calorie snack before your workout will help prevent overeating later in the day.
- If you are an athlete who needs to make weight, having a low-calorie snack prior to working out will allow you keep your stomach full for longer and prevent hunger pangs when cutting calories!
But what exactly is a low calorie pre-workout snack profile?
And how do you make sure you’re getting the right balance of carbs, protein and fat?
- If you’re trying to lose weight, aim for 200–300 calories per snack. This will allow you to eat more regularly throughout the day without feeling too full or bloated after each meal/snack.
- If you’re not trying to lose weight but still want to keep things healthy, aim for 300–400 calories per snack (ideally with less than 20g of sugar). This will ensure that your body isn’t left craving more food shortly after eating – which can lead to overeating later on in the day (or even bingeing on unhealthy foods).
- If you’re active and/or exercising regularly, aim for 400+ calories per snack. You may also want to include some healthy fats or additional protein - for more information on pre workout facts, macros and meal timing, check out healthkart.com's easy guide.
Foods To Avoid for Low-Calorie Pre-Workout Snacks
If you’re on a low-calorie diet, and trying to lose weight, you need to be careful with your selection of meals and snacks.
If you're looking for low calorie options - you immediately want to eliminate any calorie dense foods, especially those high in sugar.
Here are some examples of foods to avoid for low-calorie pre workout snacks:
- Granola bars (unless they're made with whole grains)
- Sports drinks (with added sugars)
- Leafy Greens
- Peanut Butter
The Best Low Calorie Pre-Workout Snack Ideas
If you don't eat enough carbs or protein before your workout, you'll have less fuel for those activities.
That's why it's important to eat something that contains both carbohydrates and protein about 30 minutes before your workout. That way, you'll get a boost of energy right when you need it most, and you won't be tempted to reach for less nutritious food during a moment of weakness.
Take a look at some good low calorie pre-workout snack options:
Greek Yogurt with Berries
Greek yogurt is a superstar when it comes to pre-workout snacks. It's packed with protein, which helps repair and build your muscles. To keep it low calorie, opt for the plain, non-fat variety. Add a handful of your favourite berries for a sweet and fibre-rich touch. Delicious and nutritious!
Rice Cakes with Almond Butter
Rice cakes are a fantastic option for a pre-workout snack. They're light, crispy, and come in a variety of flavours. Top them off with a smear of almond butter, which is not only low in calories but also rich in heart-healthy fats. It's a winning combo that'll keep you going strong.
Apple Slices with Cottage Cheese
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and it can also give you the energy boost you need before a workout. Slice up a crunchy apple and pair it with some cottage cheese for a refreshing and low-calorie snack. The combination of fibre, vitamins, and protein will keep you fuelled up and ready to go.
Veggie Sticks with Hummus
We can't forget about our veggie lovers! Fresh and crunchy carrots, celery, and bell peppers make for an excellent pre-workout snack. Dip them into some creamy hummus for an added protein punch. It's a guilt-free way to satisfy your veggies cravings and get your body ready to sweat.
Last but not least, we have the classic protein smoothie. Blend up your favourite protein powder with almond milk, a handful of spinach, and some frozen fruits. Not only will you get a powerful dose of protein, but you'll also get a hefty serving of vitamins and minerals. Plus, they're so delicious, you'll feel like you're having a treat!
Looking for a Low-Calorie Pre-Workout?
A good way to boost your energy is with a low calorie pre-workout drink. These drinks can give you the extra boost you need to get through your workout without having to worry about breaking the calorie bank.
With so many different products on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are worth trying.
Here are some options:
Boost your workout with BCAAs
Before you hit the gym, it’s important to have a good amount of amino acids in your system. This helps curb hunger and keeps you from getting sore from working out too hard without fuel. It also helps keep your body from breaking down muscle tissue for energy.
We would recommend NOCCO BCAA Energy drinks before your workout.
Produced by the No Carbs Company, NOCCO Energy Drinks are sugar free, carbonated, ready-to-drink beverages packed with BCAAs and vital vitamins. NOCCO BCAA drinks are low-calorie bursts of energy to help fuel your muscles during exercise and aid in muscle repair.
NOCCO is available in delicious flavours such as Caribbean, Blood Orange, Juicy Melba, Ramonade and Limon Del Sol.
Get electrolytes before and after your workout
If you’re sweating it out during exercise or in the heat, then you need to replenish lost electrolytes like sodium, potassium and chloride through food or supplements.
We would recommend Wow Hydrate drinks as they contain a variety of essential vitamins, electrolytes and protein allowing you to stay hydrated and recover quicker.
Remember, our bodies are unique, so it's essential to listen to what yours needs. Experiment with these ideas and find what suits you best. And don't be afraid to mix things up and get creative with your snacks!
So there you have it, folks - the best low calorie pre-workout snack ideas that are guaranteed to keep you energized and motivated for whatever fitness challenge comes your way. Now go out there and conquer those workouts with a smile on your face and a snack in your hand. You've got this!