Providing your body with the right foods before a workout can make a world of difference to your stamina and performance. But finding the right vegan pre-workout foods can be daunting. There are so many options (and even more opinions) when you look for advice online.
Advice on Vegan Pre-Workout Foods
If you’re interested in upping your performance during your workouts but are not sure where to start, then be sure to read on.
Food groups to focus on
There are several food groups that are packed with essential nutrients that can help you feel energized before your workout.
Let’s keep things simple and focus on two food groups that form the foundation of good pre-workout nutrition.
Carbs really are superstars when it comes to giving you that much-needed energy boost before a workout. But remember, not all carbs are created equal. When you are loading up on fuel before a workout, you will want to opt for complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates provide a long-lasting supply of energy to keep you going throughout your workout.
Examples of foods that are high in complex carbs are:
- Sweet potatoes
Everybody in the fitness world knows that protein is important. But wait, if you’re a vegan, where do you get your protein from? Ah yes, every vegan’s favourite question!
There are plenty of plant-based foods that are high in protein, such as:
Protein is an important building block for your muscles and eating protein before a workout helps with muscle growth and ensures a faster recovery.
Choosing carbs and protein
There are different types of carbs and protein that all add their own benefits to the mix.
If you’re looking for some more in depth information about all the different types of carbs, protein, and micronutrients please check out this post by Alix.
Within their post, you will also find an extensive list of great pre-workout foods and their nutrition details.
Easy pre-workout vegan meal prep ideas
If you’re like me, you probably don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen to cook up a pre-workout meal before every workout.
So, these are my tips to create the best vegan pre-workout meal with minimal effort:
Meal prep a week ahead
This will take some time at first, but will eventually save you a huge amount of time during the week.
By spending an hour on Sunday prepping your pre-workout meals for the week ahead, you’ll be ready to go during the following days. This is great because it means there is no need to spend extra time in the kitchen on those busy weeknights.
Honestly? When I didn’t listen to my own advice and didn’t do my meal prep, I find a strong cup of coffee also does the trick before a workout.
Caffeine can give you that extra kick of energy to get you going. Just be careful if you’re doing your workout late in the evening as this might contribute towards a restless night’s sleep!
Pre-workout vegan protein shake
If you’re looking for an easy vegan pre-workout meal that combines all the essential nutrients you can also consider a protein shake.
Simply mix vegan protein powder with water—or your favourite plant-based milk—and you’re ready to go!
Some final advice
If you’re new to the nutrition game, or are struggling with disordered eating, it can be quite stressful to try to optimize your pre-workout meals.
Please know that there are no set rules. Some people like working out on an empty stomach, while others prefer a hot meal, a strong coffee, or a shake beforehand. I definitely do not fall into that first category!
We’re all different and our bodies have different needs. Also, what we need can even change from day-to-day. The key to long-term success is to find what feels good for you!
What’s your favourite vegan pre-workout meal or snack? Let us know in the comments below!