The Best Pre-Workout Meals To Eat Before Your High-Intensity Session

Did you know that just twelve minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) per week can significantly improve cardiorespiratory fitness? In addition, it also reduces fat in the liver and blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. These results, obtained in just 12 minutes, are comparable with 45-minutes of aerobic exercise!

Thus, it’s no surprise that HIIT workouts have become one of the most popular training styles in the gym. But, of course, there’s a need to fuel your body before and after intense workouts.

So, what are some of the best pre workout meals to eat before an intense workout session? In this post, we will answer just that, so keep reading!

Understanding HIIT

High-intensity interval training combines short periods of intense exercise with brief rest periods. For example, you may sprint for one minute and rest for twenty seconds before running again. After repeating this for several minutes, you’ll have burned a lot of calories and got your heart pumping.

Preparing Your Pre Workout Meal for HIIT

If you’ve ever done a HIIT routine, you know that they take a lot of energy. So, it’s not a good idea to try to squeeze a HIIT session in if you haven’t eaten a proper meal. Rather, it would help if you prepared in advance, so your body has plenty of energy to meet the demands.

For the most part, you should focus on eating a mix of proteins and carbohydrates before doing HIIT. However, you’ll also need to pay attention to your water intake, since sweaty HIIT sessions can leave you dehydrated. To maintain consistent energy levels throughout long training sessions, you need to pay attention to the carbohydrate requirements too. This can be done by consuming hydration sports drinks.


Even though low-carb diets are all the rage, our bodies need these macronutrients to fuel our workouts, especially those of high intensity.

Typically, it would help to consume complex carbs, such as oatmeal, whole grains, and brown rice. Your body digests and absorbs the energy from these foods slowly, allowing them to provide fuel for several hours and keep you feeling satisfied.

On the other hand, your body digests simple carbs quickly, giving you instant energy. Although these types of carbs aren’t generally the best choices, white bread, fruits, and fruit juices are all perfect choices when you need a quick pick-me-up.

Your pre workout nutrition should include both simple and complex carbs for the best results.


Because of the intense character of HIIT, it causes small tears in muscle fibers. However, rather than harming your body, this damage encourages your muscles to enter the rebuilding phase and grow. And, for this process, you’ll need to consume plenty of protein.

Of course, consuming supplements such as Elevate pre workout ensures there are plenty of amino acids in your bloodstream during and after your workout so you can start repairing and growing your muscles right away. But, other excellent sources of protein include:

  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Of course, you’ll not only need to eat these protein sources before your workout but also throughout the day, so you have a steady supply of them. If you aim for a high-protein diet, try to consume at least one gram of protein for every pound of your weight (145 grams for a 145 lb person).


Pre workout hydration is another important factor to consider, as the body needs to be hydrated to function properly.

Instead of gulping down a couple of liters before your workout, it’s best to drink water throughout the day. That way, you won’t have water sloshing around in your stomach while you’re trying to run or do jump squats.

Of course, the amount of water your body needs to stay hydrated depends on how much you exercise, where you live, and the time of year. But, typically, you should drink at least two liters every day for optimal health and more when you do an intense workout.

How Long to Eat Before Workout Time

When planning a pre workout meal, timing is crucial. You don’t want to eat too close to your workout because this can cause cramps. But, eating too far in advance may leave you feeling weak.

So, the best time to eat is about two hours before a workout. Doing so allows you enough time to digest complex carbs that will supply you with a lot of energy. Examples include eggs and wheat toast, chicken and quinoa, or oatmeal with apples, and peanut butter powder.

Of course, if you don’t have this much time on hand, you can aim for a smaller meal consisting of simple carbs about an hour before working out. For example, you could have a banana and almonds, yogurt and berries, or a protein shake.

If you forget to eat and only have a few minutes until your gym session, it’s best to stick to a small snack. While it’s not ideal, some of the best pre workout snacks include half of a banana or a handful of raisins and nuts.

Give Yourself the Energy You Need with These Pre Workout Meals!

After reading this post, you are better prepared to give your body the fuel it needs for your high-intensity workout.

Of course, you can create your own snacks and meals or use the suggestions in this post. Just be sure to get plenty of water, protein, and carbohydrates through your pre workout meals before jumping into HIIT! If you do, you’ll be able to give your workouts all you have and see the results!

For more diet and exercise tips, be sure to check out more of our health posts!


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