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Your Pre-Workout Meal: What to Eat Before Going to the Gym

Caroline Weihl (@strongsweetcaroline) – a Vital Proteins fan, 4-year bodybuilding athlete and holistic health coach – shares her favorite pre workout meal to power through the most intense exercises.

Knowing what to eat before your sweat session can be a bit of a guessing game. That’s how I felt when I first began weight training in my senior year of college. But now with years of fitness experience under my belt, I’m confident enough to share the pre workout meals that have worked for me. Here are some pre workout meals that can benefit you and your goals.

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Reputable studies have previously stated that eating before a workout can help the body burn more calories during your workout. Not only this, but the food selection and timing can play a large role in your satiety and performance.

Protein Is King

Building muscle doesn’t solely go down at the gym. You also need to be mindful about the food you’re eating. If there is one thing you want to be sure to include in your pre workout meal, it’s a protein source. By eating a meal with a higher amount of protein, you are kickstarting protein synthesis before your workout even begins. Your protein of choice should be something that’s easily digestible and is consumed within 30 minutes to 1 hour of your workout. Most popular options include:

• Collagen Whey
• Whey Isolate
• Egg whites
• Lean fish
• Chicken breast

Perfect Pre Workout Meal: Add Carbs and Fats

Depending on your goals or what your trainer or nutritionist recommends, you might want to consider adding additional carbohydrates and/or fats to your pre workout meal. If you are training first thing in the morning or later in the day, you might have already stored some glycogen from prior meals. If you are in a caloric deficit and trying to put on muscle, adding carbs is important to actively fuel the muscles during the workout. My coach and I have seen success by including a small amount of fats in my pre workout meal to slow my blood sugar spike after a particularly intense workout.

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A Pre Workout Meal Is Not Always Necessary Right Before Training

If you have eaten a meal within 2-4 hours of working out, you will have enough stored glycogen that you can still perform and burn calories and glycogen during the workout. Therefore, it is not always necessary to eat a meal right before training, as indicated above. Do some research on your own and see what works for you! Every body is different and should be treated that way.

collagen whey

Strong Sweet Caroline’s Favorite Pre Workout Meal

Try out my favorite pre workout meal that is not only easy to prepare, but also tastes great and fuels your workout.


  • 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Whey, Banana Cinnamon, & Vanilla or Dark Chocolate Coconut flavors
  • 1 T natural almond butter or peanut butter
  • ½ C quick oats
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash sea salt
  • Âľ C water


1. In a bowl, prepare oats with water according to the directions, usually about Âľ cup water per serving, either microwaving or using boiling water and stirring rapidly until oats are cooked.
2. Drain excess water to prevent watery oatmeal.
3. Add in Vital Proteins Collagen Whey or whey protein of choice, natural nut butter, cinnamon and sea salt. Stir until smooth.
4. Enjoy warm or place in fridge for overnights oats.

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