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Is Fruit a Good Pre-Workout Snack? Best Fruits to Have Before the Gym

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Out of all the snacks you can have before the gym, fruit is a great option. It’s a healthy and delicious way to get some quick carbs in, as well as having the added benefits of micronutrients, fiber, and polyphenols. Just keep in mind that fruit is no substitute for a full meal several hours before hitting the gym.

Is Fruit a Good Pre-Workout Snack Fruit is best as a snack directly before working out, as this is when it’s most ideal to eat simple carbs. Ideally, you should also be eating a complete meal full of carbs, fats, and protein several hours before the gym as well.

is fruit a good pre-workout

Fruits – Energy, Vitamins, and Minerals

Regardless of your goals, fruits should be a staple of your diet. Eating fruits before workouts is especially great for their simple carbs. Below we’ll be looking at the nutritional profile of fruits, so you can get a better idea of why they’re so beneficial. 

Nutritional Profile of Common Fruits

The nutritional profile of fruits will vary from fruit to fruit. However, most fruits are excellent natural sources of simple carbs and fiber, as well as various micronutrients. 

berries eating outside

Keep in mind that some fruits are more calorically dense than others, like bananas for example. Things like berries and citrus fruits will typically be much lower in calories, which may make them more well-suited to those eating in a caloric deficit. 

Fruit’s Potential Benefits as a Pre-Workout Snack

Below we’ll be looking at several different options for having fruit as part of a pre-workout snack, as well as some of their specific benefits

Different Kinds of Fruits

Pretty much any kind of fruit can work as a pre-workout snack! However, because different fruits have different micronutrient profiles, your best option is likely to combine several different fruits into a fruit salad. With this being said, any fruit will work as a pre-workout snack, because we’re mainly after their carbohydrate content. 

Consider including more caloric fruits like bananas if you want a larger snack, or focus on berries for something lighter. Berries are an excellent source of polyphenols which are potent antioxidants if this is something you want to prioritize. 

3 Benefits of Fruit as a Pre-Workout Snack

Below we’ll be looking at the specific benefits of fruit, including energy from simple carbs, added hydration, and more.

fruits in gym

✅ Carbs and Sugars

First and foremost, the main reason fruit is a great pre-workout snack is that they’re rich in natural sugars which your body can use for quick energy. This is why fruit is perfect to eat directly before hitting the gym. 

It’s worth noting that while most fruits consist mainly of sugars and fiber, bananas can also be high in starch depending on their ripeness.

Keep in mind that while a snack based on simple sugars is great right before a workout, ideally you should still be having a larger meal full of carbs, fats, and proteins several hours before working out as well.

Luckily, fruits are also easily incorporated into larger meals. Consider blending them into a smoothie along with protein powder, or having them cut up into oatmeal or Greek yogurt.

✅ Hydration

It’s also important not to overlook hydration while working out. While they’re no substitute for drinking water, fruits are an easy way to get some added hydration before hitting the gym. Hydration can greatly impact performance, so this is just as important to consider as proper pre-workout nutrition. 

✅ Fiber, Micronutrients, & Polyphenols

Finally, while these likely won’t have a direct impact on your workout performance , micronutrients, and polyphenols are all huge benefits of fruit that you won’t get from many other pre-workout snacks and supplements. 

While fruits will all have slightly different micronutrient profiles, most are excellent sources of potassium and vitamin C in particular. Keep in mind that different fruits have different micronutrient profiles, so consider different combinations if there are specific nutrients you’re looking to target. 

Most berries are also excellent sources of polyphenols and antioxidants, which play a role in disease prevention as well as recovery. 

athlete eating berries

Finally, most fruits are also rich in fiber, which plays a major role in disease prevention, intestinal functioning, and overall health. Most people don’t eat nearly enough fiber in their diets, so fruit is a great way to prioritize this. 

However, because it leads to gastric emptying, high amounts of fiber are not ideal before a workout. This is one of the only drawbacks to eating fruit before a workout, although smaller servings of fruit likely won’t cause any issues. 

Whether you’re eating fruit before your workout, or at any other time before the day, these are some of the most beneficial aspects of incorporating fruit into your diet.

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Practical Recommendations Before Training

While fruit is an undeniably good pre-workout snack, there are a few things you’ll want to consider beyond having a bowl of fruit before hitting the gym. This includes supplements, your personal needs, and a complete nutrition plan. Let’s get into it. 

apples in hand

1. Fruits vs Common Pre-Workout Supplements

There is a difference between a pre-workout snack like fruit and a pre-workout supplement. These are typically formulas consisting of caffeine combined with several active ingredients.

While they’re not necessary for a great workout, they can provide an additional boost of stimulation and ergogenic effects that food alone won’t give you. Keep in mind that most pre-workout supplements don’t have any added carbs, so getting these through fruit may be ideal. 

When deciding on a pre-workout supplement, it’s important to consider your relationship to caffeine, and how much you can realistically handle. Pre-workouts typically range from stim-free to ~400mg of caffeine per serving, so try to find one that suits you! For most people, we recommend staying around the 200mg range. 

2. Additional Considerations

Fruit as a pre-workout snack is pretty much well-suited to everyone. Even if you’re on a strict caloric deficit, fruit is a great way to get plenty of volume into your diet. If you’re diabetic or following a keto diet you may want to limit yourself a bit when it comes to fruit, but it can still be a great option as long as you’re conscious of your portion sizes.

Consider choosing fruits that are naturally low in carbs such as red fruits, kiwis, and plums.

If you’re planning on using a pre-workout supplement, make sure you’re choosing one that’s well-suited to you with a safe level of caffeine. Taking too much caffeine at once can lead to anxiety, headaches, and other side effects, so exercise some caution here.

eating beries before training

Fiber also has many benefits for overall health, although because of gastric emptying it may not be ideal before a workout. However, snacks like fruit are good to take whenever. 

A Good Pre-Workout May Look Like…

As mentioned earlier, a good pre-workout routine starts several hours before hitting the gym with a full meal consisting of carbs, fats, and proteins. Make sure you’re also drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. 

Right before you hit the gym, consider having fruit, or another light snack consisting mostly of simple carbs. If you’re unable to get a full meal before your workout, this step becomes even more important. 

This is also when you can take a pre-workout supplement of your choice. Keep in mind that caffeine takes 15-30 minutes to take effect, so try to time your intake with the start of your workout. Overall, focus on proper nutrition instead of relying on supplements.

With that being said, a high-quality pre-workout can provide a notable boost to your workout.

We Recommend

BULK Black by Transparent Labs

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If you’re looking for a high-quality pre-workout supplement, check out Bulk Black by Transparent Labs. Each serving of this supplement contains 275mg of caffeine, and effective doses of Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Betaine, and Taurine. In our opinion, this makes it one of the most complete pre-workout supplements on the market.

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FAQ

Is It Good to Eat Dry Fruits as Pre-Workout?

Dried fruits like raisins, dates, dried mango, pineapple, and apricots are some of the best pre-workout fruits if you’re looking for a more calorically dense option. Just keep in mind these can be very high in sugar, so just make sure they fit in line with your goals before eating them regularly. 

Can I Eat a Banana 30 Minutes Before Workout?

A banana before is arguably the best fruit to eat before workouts. For best results, you may want to eat the banana around 30 minutes before your workout to maximize the energy boost from the simple carbs you’re eating. Keep in mind that bananas may also be high in starch depending on their ripeness. 

Conclusion

Fruits before workouts are some of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest pre-workout snacks you can have. While they’re no substitute for a full meal several hours beforehand, they’re a great option for a quick snack right before the gym.

You may also be interested in using a pre-workout supplement. In this case, consider checking out Bulk Black from Transparent Labs

Do you have a favorite pre-workout fruit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

References:

  1. Real Life, Good Food, “Fruits,” University of Minnesoate Extension, https://reallifegoodfood.umn.edu/food-groups/fruits (Accessed May 19, 2024)
  2. Katherine M Phillips, et. al, “Dietary fiber, starch, and sugars in bananas at different stages of ripeness in the retail market” PLoS One. 16(7), 2021. 
  3. Emily Nock, “What are Polyphenols? Another Great Reason to Eat Fruits and Veggies“ Colorado State University, https://www.chhs.colostate.edu/krnc/monthly-blog/what-are-polyphenols-another-great-reason-to-eat-fruits-and-veggies/ (Accessed May 19, 2024)
  4. The Nutrition Source, “Fiber,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/ (Accessed May 19, 2024)
  5. The Nutrition Source, “Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/  (Accessed May 19, 2024)
  6. Move Better Home, “Here’s What to Eat Before and After a Workout” Hospital for Special Surgery, https://www.hss.edu/article_eat-before-after-workout.asp (Accessed May 19, 2024)
  7. Photos made by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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Jacek Szymanowski

Author: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance Architect,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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