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The 3 Best Pre-Workout Snacks For A Major Energy Boost, From An RD


Hannah Frye

Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

By Hannah Frye

Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.

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If you’ve struggled to achieve balance with your pre-workout snack (some make you feel weighed down, others low on energy), consider this your guide to perfecting the craft. I asked registered dietician and founder of Real Nutrition Amy Shapiro, R.D. for three pre-workout snack recipes that fit every craving and the benefits that come with them. 

For an energy boost: Peanut butter toast


1 slice whole grain or Ezekiel bread2 tablespoons almond butter (or any nut butter)½ bananaA drizzle of honey

All you have to do is toast your bread, spread the nut butter, layer on banana and top it all off with a drizzle of honey—it’s an automatic energy booster. 

“I would consider this snack if you need an afternoon pick me up an hour or two before a hard workout,” Shapiro says. The balanced snack contains carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat, and plenty of other micronutrients. 

Plus, the banana topping provides the body with potassium—an important mineral for supporting muscle strength and reducing cramps1

For a lighter option: Fruit and hard-boiled eggs

The previous recipe may take a little bit to digest before your body is ready to head off on a run, so this lighter option is great for anyone looking to snack closer to the time of their workout. 

Shapiro suggests pairing hard-boiled eggs with fruit—a small snack plate if you will. 

She recommends prepping some hard-boiled eggs over the weekend to have on hand for the rest of the week. You’ll pair one or two of those with a cup of fresh or frozen fruit and voila—your pre-workout snack is ready. 

“I love berries because they are high in fiber and antioxidants while being low in sugar and eggs truly are the perfect protein, inexpensive, and keep you satisfied,” she adds, making this one a great option for those shopping on a budget, too. 

Any fruit will do, really, so work with what you have and shake it up if you begin to get bored with your pre-workout snack

For the smoothie lover: A simple, balanced blend

Some smoothies are too dense to eat before a workout, while others may not provide the lasting energy you need–this one, however, is different. 


1 small kiwi, skin on (fresh or frozen)1/2 banana, (fresh or frozen)1/4 cup vanilla protein powder1 cup baby spinach1/4 avocado1 cup water2 ice cubes

Simply blend the ingredients above. If you don’t have kiwis on hand, any fresh or frozen fruit will do. 

“The fruit provides carbohydrate and natural sugars for fast energy, the avocado provides healthy fat and fiber,” Shapiro explains. “Pair that with protein from protein powder and you have an energizing, healthy smoothie to enjoy.” 

You can toss in a number of powder supplements in a smoothie without altering the taste, so level up your blend with collagen powder, greens powder, or electrolytes if you have them.

The takeaway

Three pre-workout snacks a dietician swears by include: Peanut butter banana toast, a snack plate with hard-boiled eggs and fruit, or a smoothie with protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Experiment with these combinations to find what works for you. Here, even more great options to consider before your next sweat sesh.

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