What to Eat Before the Gym

You know what they say: When you gotta go, you gotta go. To the gym, that is. But once we know we gotta go, there is still that age-old question of what to eat before the gym. It can’t be anything too heavy, too light, or too greasy, so here is our list of things we like to eat (and drink) before the gym.

Wallaby Aussie Greek Style Plain

You can’t spell yoked without yogurt (sort of), so of course we have a Greek yogurt on this list. Why Greek yogurt? Because it is usually lower in sugar and higher in protein—any gym rat’s dream. And this particular Greek yogurt isn’t even Greek—it’s from the Australia (orr naurrr! Aussie grayk yohrgit!). Just kidding. This may be Aussie stuff, but down under, they really know how to yogurt. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling wrote that this yogurt has “a faint vanilla sweetness to it with a touch of grassiness (that’s a good thing—think of really good, really fresh milk).” Or as they say in Australia, “It’s saur gurd.”

Related: Best Greek Yogurt: The 8 Best Greek Yogurts for Breakfast and Beyond

Trader Joe’s Creamy No-Stir Peanut Butter

Sometimes you stand in front of the snack cabinet for hours wondering what to eat before the gym, but the real answer is out on the counter next to the bread. That’s right … peanut butter! Specifically, peanut butter and apple (mmmmm). I know this isn’t for all gym people (some want to cut fat out altogether, and I’d say this one isn’t for you most likely). But if you are a casual gym-goer rather than a hard-core body builder, peanut butter is sure to fill you up and keep you full for the duration of your workout. Good Mythical Morning writer Meghan Malone said this particular Trader Joe’s peanut butter was “not too sugary, not too salty—very easy to spread.” Mmmmmm … protein.

Related: Best Peanut Butter: The 6 Best Peanut Butters Are, in Fact, Ready for This Jelly

Elevation Chocolate Peanut Butter High Protein Bars

Sometimes it’s suuuuper early in the morning and you don’t have the time to decide what to eat before going to the gym—nor to make 20 egg whites and a chicken breast. All you have time to grab before your workout is a protein bar. You may as well make it the best one, and we at Sporked love this bar from Elevation (sold at Aldi). It has 20 whole grams of protein, and Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick noted that it tastes “like a Rice Krispies treat meets a Reese’s Cup.” What more do you need to hear? Also, MMMMMMM … protein.

Related: Get Absolutely Yoked with the 7 Best Tasting Protein Bars

R.E.D.D. Radiant Energy Peanut Butter

Sometimes you want a protein bar, but you are a vegan. That’s okay, we still love you and think you deserve a peanut butter-flavored protein bar. This one comes complete with semisweet chocolate chips (so not too sweet) and a “pleasant, chewy texture and some peanut butter-esque saltiness, too,” according to Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart. And can I just say? MMMMMMM … vegan protein. Ten grams of it to be exact.

Related: Best Vegan Protein Bars: Our 8 Favorites

Fairlife Core Power Vanilla

Sometimes you wake up so early that instead of deciding what to eat before the gym (that would take too much energy—chewing, amirite?), you decide to have something to drink instead. What better thing to drink before a workout than a protein shake? And this one actually tastes good, too. What does it taste like? Well with only 5 grams of sugar and a whopping 26 grams of protein, this actually just tastes “like melted vanilla ice cream in a bottle,” according to Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo. That’s about as good as you can get from a protein shake. Also, the obligatory: MMMMMM … drinkable protein.

Related: Bulk Up with the 5 Best Tasting Protein Shakes

Gatorade Lime Cucumber

Lastly, the electrolytes. If you know you are about to sweat a lot, it can be good to sip a little Gatorade or other electrolyte drink beforehand. And what’s more refreshing than this cucumber-lime flavored Gatorade? Not much, I’ll tell ya that. This stuff tastes like spa water, and made Justine into a Gatorade believer. Just try it; you won’t be disappointed.

Related: Best Sports Drink: 8 Best Sports Drinks for Sporty People

And if all else fails, there’s always this guy’s pre-workout recipe. Bone apple protein!

About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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  • uuuummmm….Wallaby Yogurt… it’s not made in or even available in Australia. The only thing ‘Aussie’ about it is the caricature of a wallaby/kangaroo on the packaging. You’ve been conned.