What To Eat Before A Workout For Everything From Fat Loss To Muscle Gain

Worrying about what to eat before a workout?

We’ve all been there – scoffing a banana 30 minutes before an intense HIIT class in the hope it’ll give us enough energy, then spending the next half an hour feeling slightly nauseous.

Determining what to eat before a workout can be tricky and it’s essential to think about both the activity you have planned, and the goals you have in mind. 

So, we spoke to four of the best personal trainers out there to find out exactly what they think are the best pre-workout meals for each class. Finally you’ll get an answer to the age old questioning: Peanut butter or protein shake?


Numerous studies have named high intensity training the winner for fat loss. This is based largely on the impact it can have compared to the same period spent doing cardio, and the after-burn effect (especially if you include resistance). So, if you’re gearing up to go hard in a HIIT class, then you’re going to need sustenance, right? Helle Hammonds from Gymclass recommends:


Half a banana and some yogurt is ideal. Make sure it is something light that can be easily digested by your body.

What you eat pre-workout is something that you should experiment with. Most people think their way is best, but there’s no right or wrong answer.

You can train fasted if you prefer- I often train fasted when I’m doing HIIT in the morning. Again, this is very personal.


You should eat an hour before training. If you are new to training or not been training for a while, having food-fuel will help get you through your session and should stop you from feeling sick.

The reason behind this is our body uses oxygen to digest the food we have eaten and training increases the body’s need for oxygen.

The last thing you need when you are doing a taxing HIIT workout is battling for oxygen on both fronts.


The majority of spin classes claim to burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories in a 45 minute class, and the harder you work – and the higher that resistance – the more fat you’ll burn. So, it goes without saying that you need some energy to in the bank in order to push yourself. But what to eat? James Pisano at Sweat by BXR (formerly of spin studio Core Collective) advises:


A baked sweet potato with an avocado salad of tomatoes, fresh spinach, pine nuts and olive oil ticks all the right boxes.

Try a fruit smoothie or even a cold press juice to energise you for a spin class if you’re short of time.

I have a spinach, cucumber, apple, celery, coconut water and spirulina juice every day before my last spin class of the day. It’s my favourite.


Always eat an hour before, if not more.

Continue reading here on Womens Health Magazine to find out what to eat to build muscle and what to eat to lose weight.




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