I get asked at least once a day about the best choices for pre workout meals. Obviously, there isn’t a “best” choice but there are certain nutrient timing factors that I do consider when planning my meals. Pre and post workout, I always try to keep my fat intake as low as possible. Fat is slower to digest so I fuel up on carbs and some quick protein. I wanna work hard at the gym, so fueling myself properly is key! I want to eat just enough for good energy but not too much where the food is sitting heavy in my stomach. This is usually the time of day (pre and post workout) where I stack up on my carbs/simple sugars. I don’t do fasted cardio. I don’t train in a fasted state. And I usually need at least 1 full meal in me to lift the best. On most days, I get 2-3 meals in me before I’m ready to lift.
Pre workout meal is asily my favorite meal of the day… I ALWAYS look forward to it and now that I am reverse dieting again, food is getting more and more fun because I get to have MORE of it. That’s always a good thing in my book! My meal of choice pre workout is oatmeal 99.9% of the time. I like that I can whip it up really quick, less than a couple of minutes and if need be, I can eat it on my way out the door. Since I’m running around in the afternoon, grabbing kids at school, these oats in a jar work perfect! This is my super basic recipe for my oatmeal…
** Add 1/2 quick oats to a jar or bowl **
** Add enough almond milk to cover & 10-20 drops of Sweet Leaf Stevia and microwave for 30 seconds **
** Add in 3-4 tablespoons of liquid egg whites (you can omit if you don’t need the extra protein) **
** Stir and microwave for an additional 25-30 seconds **
** Add 1/2 scoop of Trutein Vanilla Protein (BEST tasting, high quality protein ever) **
** Add more almond milk to thin down to desired consistency (I like mine chunky so I never have to add much) **
** And now the fun part… add some toppings! Again, keep fat as low as you can. I usually add fruit, cereal (CHEX vanilla and Golden Grahams are my favorite), and fat free Redi Whip! **
** ENJOY within 30 minutes to 1 hour of training. I feel best training within 30 minutes of my last bite, but I know people that need an hour for their food to digest enough! **
These “OIAJ” (oats in a jar) are PERFECT to prepare ahead of time. On weeks that I know I am going to be slammed with work or family stuff, I will prep 2-4 jars of the oats and then add my cereal right before I’m going to eat it. I think I actually prefer having my jars pre done because the protein and fruit flavors gets nice and soaked up by the oats… so sweet, rich, and satisfying!
Also here are some other additions you might want to consider for added volume and/or flavor:
- add 1-3 tablespoons of Greek or plain yogurt
- use extracts to change the flavor that will compliment whatever fruit/toppings you are using
- if you are a “clean eater” and don’t want to use packaged cereals (although, to me…. the cereal is a MUST have), add a low fat granola
- add chia or flax seed prior to the first microwaving
- if you like peanut butter but still want to keep the fat low, use powdered peanut butter (PB2). You can find this online, at most health food stores, and sometimes even Target or Walmart.
- feeling extra adventurous? Add a small scoop of your favorite ice cream right on top! One of my recent favorites is Lemon Cake from Halo Top. SOOOOOO delicious and the macros on it are great!
- happen to have an almost empy jar of peanut/nut butter? Use it to make your oats! As long as there isn’t a huge amount left, fat will still be low and you will get some good flavor.