Sports survey: Nutritional facts on favorite pre-workout snacks

Sylvie Luiten

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Illustration: Alex Bailey

Fruit! The number one food that Whitties like to eat before heading to the gym to work out or practice, according to a recent Pioneer survey of Whitman athletes. Nutritionally speaking, the 30 percent of respondents who much on fruit are making a wise pre-workout choice: Easily digestible and high in glucose, fruit is ideal to eat one hour or less before a workout. According to sportsmedicine.about.com, endurance athletes perform best after eating some glucose 35 to 40 minutes before exercise.

Energy bars, second-most popular among the 83 polled athletes, are also an excellent pre-workout food: as long as they are high in carbohydrates and low in fat and fiber. Active.com recommends bars that have 25 to 40 grams of carbohydrate and 100 to 200 calories.

Twenty-four percent of polled Whitman athletes reported dipping into peanut butter before heading to practices. According to active.com, however, this creamy favorite is not a good food to eat pre-workout for those with sensitive stomachs. Additionally, peanut butter and high-fiber dry cereals are best eaten as post-workout recovery snacks rather than pre-workout boosts.

When choosing what snack to grab before hitting the gym, it is best to remember that foods that are high in carbohydrates help increase glycogen stores, and are good to eat before a workout. Foods rich in fat, fiber and protein are best saved for after working out.

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