woman with arrows on her stomach

Eating a high protein meal before your workout gives you the energy to get through a longer workout and ensures that your body is always burning fat away instead of muscle. Yet it is all too easy to eat the wrong thing—or a little bit too much of the wrong thing—and end up feeling bloated, which also means you’re more likely to experience stomach cramps.

If you want a nutritional boost before your workout but you don’t want to risk bloating try one of these simple pre-workout meals:

  1. Sliced Avocado On Toast

If you haven’t heard about the health enhancing power of avocados, you are seriously missing out. These fruits contain high concentrations of many different vitamins and minerals—and a high dose of protein. Add a thin slice of cheese for some extra flavor and make sure you use whole wheat toast.

  1. Yogurt & Fruit Cup

Did I mention that many of the best pre-workout foods are also incredibly easy to make? This is definitely one of the easiest; simply buy some Greek yogurt and eat about a cup worth with some added blueberries, strawberries or whatever fruit you prefer. Make sure to stick with unflavored yogurt as the flavored stuff usually uses large amounts of corn syrup or sugar for sweetener.

  1. Boiled Chicken Breast

Chicken is a wonderfully lean meat that will give you a hefty dose of protein and other essential nutrients to help you through a workout. Avoid adding any kind of heavy sauce; some lemon juice and a few spices should be enough to make this absolutely delicious.

  1. Peanut Butter & Apple
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Slice up an apple, add a thin layer of peanut butter to each slice and enjoy. This is perfect if you aren’t usually very hungry before your workout.

  1. Eggs & Toast

One or two hard boiled eggs and a slice of whole wheat toast will give you the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein to get through even the longest workouts.

  1. Salmon

If you tend to work out in the evenings and you don’t really want to have breakfast food right before your workout but you need something hearty, try a salmon steak. This provides a high concentration of protein as well as essential omega 3 fatty acids. Once again, avoid adding any sauce; lemon juice and spices can give you all the flavor you need without adding any extra calories.

  1. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese has an incredible amount of protein per serving. Have half a cup with half a cup of fruit—something like pineapple will complement the flavor really well—and you have a nutrient dense snack that will get you through even the most intense workout.

  1. Salad & Eggs

Add a hard boiled egg to a small bowl of salad and use your favorite vinaigrette dressing to bring the whole thing together.

  1. Oatmeal

Oats are the healthiest whole grain and if you add a little bit of fruit you will get the perfect mix of nutrients, protein and carbohydrates to get you through a long workout. Remember to start from raw oats; instant oatmeal is overflowing with sugar.

  1. Fruit Smoothies

A smoothie isn’t just a delicious treat, it’s also a great way to get in a hefty dose of nutrients before your workout without any risk of bloating. They can also be great for fat loss. Try adding almond milk or peanut butter to give yourself a significant protein boost. Bananas are also particularly great additions to pre-workout smoothies as they contain both protein and potassium which can help keep your body balanced.

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Finding something delicious to eat before every workout doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remember to go for low calorie, high protein snacks with some carbohydrates to keep your energy sustained over a long period of time. Once you get adventurous you’ll realize that there are hundreds of excellent meals you can make before a workout.