Healthy Snack Ideas for Fueling Your Workouts


Are you looking for healthy snacks to fuel your workouts? If yes, then you have come to the right place. There are many reasons we need snacks. But the main reason for having snacks here is to provide our body with “fuel.” What is the fuel that we are talking about here? What “fuel” does our body need for workouts? The following are the answers to these questions.

To engage in any physical activity, we need energy for our bodies. This energy can only be provided by nutrition from the food that we consume. So, you see, the fuel that our body needs becomes energy to perform physical activities like workouts. If the food we consume has the nutrition our body needs, it is the function of our body to extract those nutrients.

We can’t just eat anything and wait for our bodies to get fit and stay healthy. When it comes to fitness, what is in your diet matters a lot more than you think. Let’s consider it this way, your body is made 70% in the kitchen and 30% in the gym. You did your workout intensely with perfect form, and you sweated, but if you don’t support it with the required nutrition, it’s all waste.

Eating healthy is the building block of fitness. If you don’t provide your body with healthy food and do not pay attention to your diet, you won’t be able to build muscles, lose weight and fat, stay fit, or get in shape. Whatever your fitness goals, you need to give top priority to what is in your diet. So, what is in your diet? What do you need to have?

In this write-up, we will answer all your questions regarding which healthy snacks you can have to fuel your body for workouts. We will provide you with a variety of good, healthy, and nutritious snacks that you can have. This will help you so much in your fitness journey.

Carbs, proteins, and fats what should you eat?

  1. Carbohydrates

Carbs are the main nutrients that give you energy that can power you through your workout. Research papers suggest that carbs can improve performance. But not any carbs will do, simple carbs are ideal as they are digested quickly. Simple carbs like dry cereal, peanut butter, oats, whole grains, brown rice, etc.

  • Protein

Carbs are most important, but a little protein is also a good idea when it comes to pre-workout snacks. You can have more protein in post-workout, as protein helps in repairing and building muscles. While carbs help in providing energy.

  • Fats

The direct answer is no. Consuming high fat before a workout means unnecessary more work for your body to break it down. Breaking down is so time-consuming. If you consume a bunch of fat and work right away, you are running the risk of gastrointestinal disease (GI).

Pre-workout snacks

Remember that the body is made 70% in the kitchen. If you have started working out and hit the gym, you need to have a pre-workout meal. The purpose of pre-workout meals is to fuel and provide your body with the energy to undertake any physical activity that you will perform. If you don’t want to cook or are in a hurry, turning to snacks would be a lifesaver.

Today, many healthy snack options are available to choose from as compared to a decade ago. You don’t need to go into the kitchen and cook for an hour to fuel your body for workouts. Snacks can be your trusted ally. The impressive things about snacks are that they are light and can have the nutrients you need to get energy to work out with potential.

The best time to have pre-workout meals is one or two hours before the workout, but it also depends on whether it is a light or heavy meal. For light meals like snacks, have a gap of one hour between your pre-workout meal and workout. A light meal will be digested well in one hour, and it will provide energy and work as fuel when you are exercising.

For heavy meals, the gap between your pre-workout meal and exercise should be at least 1.5 to 2 hours. With this much space, your body will digest and extract nutrients from the meal and provide you with energy for exercising. Having gaps between your meals and workouts is extremely important. You can’t go to the gym with a pre-workout meal 10 minutes before because you will have no energy to work out to your full potential.

First, we will see the list of snacks that you can have if there is one hour or less for a workout. Following is a list of healthy pre-workouts that you need to try:

If your workout starts in 1 hour or less:

  1. Banana

The first snack on the list is a banana. The impressive thing about this is that you can even have it 30 minutes or an hour before your workout schedule. Bananas are rich in nutrients. A banana has about 110 calories, providing you with 24-28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 15 grams of naturally occurring sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 450 mg of potassium.


Carbohydrates are the main nutrient that provides our body with energy for any physical activity. Many nutritionists have said that bananas are a great pre-workout snack as they offer loads of nutrients and are easy to digest. Another thing about bananas is that they are super easy to eat. You can get them anywhere and have them anywhere.

You can have a single banana as a pre-workout snack. A banana provides fuel and provides you with enough energy for a one-hour workout. Isn’t it impressive? If you are having an intense workout, you can have some peanut butter with a banana too. You can try a banana peanut butter sandwich using whole-grain brown bread, bananas, and some peanut butter.

  • Oats

Instant oatmeal is another great option. If you need a quick, nutritious pre-workout snack, grab a packet of instant oatmeal and start making it. Instant oatmeal is filled with nutrition that your body needs for a workout. A plain oat has 101 calories, providing 19 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber. It is a good blend of all nutrients.

Oatmeal is your go-to option as it is thinner, pre-cooked, and the fastest to prepare. Some research papers have linked oatmeal with better cholesterol levels, improved blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, and reduced inflammation. Protein comes in plain, flavored, steel-cut, old-fashioned oats, etc. Besides these, there are four other forms of oatmeal.

As oatmeal is precooked, it can be eaten cold and is very quick to heat. You can simply add some water or milk according to your preference and then stir it. Put the stirred mixture in a microwave and heat it for 1-2 minutes, after that, you will have your oatmeal ready to eat. Oatmeal can be added to smoothies, you can have them with bananas, etc.

  • Fruit smoothie

Do you know that up to 60% of your adult body is water? A male needs at least 5-7 liters of water daily, while a female needs about 3-6 liters of water daily. In your pre-workout meals, you can also have a smoothie. They are a great option for having a variety of nutrients in a single glass. A delicious and healthy way to hydrate yourself with a glass of smoothie.

When making a smoothie, you can add many food ingredients to it. For instance, you can make a peanut butter banana smoothie. It is a combination of peanut butter and banana. Its ingredients include peanut butter, banana, milk, and honey. It’s so much easier and quicker to make. Per serving, it has 335 calories with 34 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, and 19 grams of fat.

You can also add other ingredients, like cocoa powder, a scoop of whey protein powder, etc., according to your preferences. To prepare, gather all the ingredients. Blend bananas, milk, peanut butter, honey, and ice cubes in a blender. Blend them for 30 seconds until they are smooth. Congrats! Now you can enjoy a glass of a nutritious, healthy, and delicious smoothie.

If your workout starts in 2-3 hours:

If you have 2-3 hours for your workout, then you can try heavier snacks. Like light snacks that you just read about, heavier snacks also offer a variety of nutrients to your body to fuel you for a workout. You can get creative with your pre-workout snack. As you have more time to digest, you can eat a bit more if you need more fuel for an intense workout. But don’t eat too much.

  1. A bowl of rice

There are a variety of different bowl recipes that you can try as snacks to fuel your body. You can pair a bowl of rice with a vegetable salad, chicken, beans, fish, etc. You can go ahead with chicken if you like. You can make fried, grilled, or boiled chicken. Boiled chicken can be the best option, as other preparations require spices, which can be uncomfortable for some.

Chicken and rice are the best combination, both nutritionally and taste-wise. A perfect blend of protein and carbohydrates is a go-to pre- and post-workout snack for the majority of bodybuilders. Keep in mind not to consume too much chicken before your workout, as it might make you feel uneasy. Just a small bowl of rice with chicken is enough to fuel your body for a workout.

A homemade bowl of rice and chicken contains a total of at least 400 calories. Providing a nutritious combination of healthy nutrients such as 76 grams of carbs, 19 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat for a serving size of one bowl. If you choose to combine rice with other ingredients as per your preference, you can go ahead.

  • Roti and paneer

Nothing can beat the homemade roti and paneer made in an Indian household. Paneer is a favorite food for many people. You can have roti and paneer at least 1.5 to 2 hours before your workout. Paneer is made up of milk from cows, buffalo or their combination. Paneer is high in protein and fats containing conjugated linoleic acid, which promotes weight loss by increasing the fat-burning process in our body.

Usually, proteins and fats are slower to digest, they slow down the digestion of carbs, improving the glucose response. Roti is high in carbs. So, having it with paneer gives you a good amount of carbs, which paneer doesn’t have. Paneer roti is a blend of carbs and protein, which is a good snack to fuel your body. Have two roti with some paneer cubes, but don’t eat too much.

Paneer roti, with a serving size of 1, has about 200 calories. It provides nutrition such as 15 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber.

  • Dahi paratha

If you can’t have paneer roti, then fear not. You can have dahi paratha. Dahi paratha is a popular Indian dish that anyone can have. This dish is made up of dahi, aka yogurt, and paratha, made of wheat. Dahi is high in protein, and paratha is rich in carbs. Dahi paratha gives a good combination of carbs and protein, which your body needs before a workout session.

The nutrition of dahi paratha depends on factors such as the size of the paratha and the ingredients used. Paratha in Indian households varies, as some make it thick or thin. However, dahi paratha is usually around 150-250 calories. Providing 20-30 grams of carbs, 15-30 grams of protein, 5-10 grams of fat, 2-4 grams of fiber, and other vitamins.


Understanding the significance of nutrition in fueling our workouts is important for achieving fitness goals. As said earlier, our bodies require the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to perform effectively during physical activities. Pre-workout snacks play a crucial role in providing the necessary energy and nutrients for exercise.

Whether it’s a banana, instant oats, or a fruit smoothie, there are ample options to suit every preference and time. Additionally, heavier snacks like rice with chicken or paneer roti offer energy for more intense workouts. Prioritizing healthy eating habits complements and enhances any fitness journey, paving the way for a fit and healthy lifestyle.

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