The 4 Best Homemade Snacks To Fuel Your Workout

Kirsten Curtis |

Fuel your gym session with the right ratio of carbs and protein

What you eat before your workout can make or break your results. No one likes to feel like they are running on empty, but overeating before your gym session can sabotage your stomach and your workout, too.

The main secret to the perfect preworkout snack is to have a combo of carbs and a little bit of protein to fuel you – ideally 1 to 2 hours before your workout. Aim to take in 200 to 300 calories, and about 30 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams protein. Incorporating a little caffeine can give you an extra jolt of energy, too.

Many of the bars on the market are full of junk and sugar, so any time you have the opportunity, make your snack at home. Here are a few favourite homemade pre-workout snacks.


Research suggests that consuming caffeine may help you burn more calories during and after exercise, and may also make your workout feel easier.

What you’ll need:
¼ cup cold brew coffee
1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp. almond or sunflower butter
½ cup almond milk
Optional: 1 scoop whey protein

How to make it:
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend and serve.

Feeds 1

(Per serving: 1108 kilojoules, 10g fat, 33g carbs, 15g protein)


Chia seeds absorb liquid and expand to 10 times their size, so they are both filling and also continually hydrating as your body breaks them down. This is especially great for runners.

What you’ll need:
¾ cup chia seeds
4 cups almond milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
pinch sea salt
optional toppings (berries, coconut flakes)

How to make it:
Combine all ingredients and stir well. It will seem liquid-y at first. Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight to thicken. Add more liquid as needed.

Feeds 4

(Per serving: 1112 kilojoules, 18g fat, 11g carbs, 10g protein)


These energy balls provide an easy, grab-and-go form of energy on the run. I love making them in bulk for the week and freezing. This recipe makes 24 energy balls.

What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whey protein powder (about 2 scoops)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
3 Tbsp. natural honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup goji, raisins, coconut, or any other add-in
2-4 Tbsp. almond milk or water

How to make it:
1. Combine all dry ingredients (oats, protein, cinnamon, chia) in a bowl. Stir in peanut butter, honey, vanilla and any other add-ins.

2. Slowly add the almond milk or water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and combine with your hands until it forms into a sticky ball that holds together.

3. Roll into bite-sized balls, then place in a container and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before eating.

Feeds: 8 (3 oat balls per serving)

(Per serving: 1046 kilojoules, 11g fat, 32g carbs, 10g protein)


This is the easiest go-to snack that takes 2 ingredients and minimal prep. It gives you a little carbs, a little good fat, and a little protein without weighing you down.

What you’ll need:
½ small apple, cored and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1-2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 large dollop 2% or whole Greek yogurt
Optional toppings: coconut flakes, cacao nibs

How to make it:
Spread almond butter on one side of apple slice. Top with Greek yogurt. Add any optional toppings. Top with another apple slice. Chow down!

Feeds: 1

(Per serving: 1170 kilojoules, 16g fat, 28g carbs, 11g protein)

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