Navigating pre-workout nutrition can be a challenge for many of us, often leading to mistakes when deciding what to eat before a session. Whether it’s having our meals too close to our exercise sessions, opting for the wrong food choices, or neglecting hydration, the fuel we provide our bodies before workouts significantly impacts our performance. Understanding pre-workout nutrition is vital to us having the best sessions possible, as what you eat and when you eat it really matters.

In this post, we discuss pre-workout fueling, providing you with different strategies to boost your training experience. From prioritising carb-rich meals to harnessing the energy-boosting effects of caffeine and steering clear of excessive fibre intake, there’s a multitude of factors to consider when it comes to pre-workout nutrition. Join us as we delve deeper into these essential practices to ensure you’re primed for success in your sessions.


Ensuring proper hydration is fundamental to optimising your pre-workout performance. Many of us overlook this, but being adequately hydrated before we start training is vital. Being hydrated plays a huge role in maintaining temperature regulation, focus, concentration, and blood flow which are vital for a quality session.

Without having drunk enough water, you might feel tired, have decreased endurance, and impaired cognitive function when you’re exercising – which none of us want to feel. Therefore its essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day leading up to your workout, including the evening before, the day of, during and after your session. 

By staying well-hydrated, you can maximise your energy levels, improve endurance, and enhance overall performance during your workout.

Eat a Carb-Rich Meal

When it comes to your pre-workout meal, you want to make sure that you make it carb-rich. Carbohydrates serve as the primary fuel source for high-intensity workouts, making them ideal to have before we train. It’s best to incorporate some complex carbs into your pre-workout meal, such as oats, whole grain bread, potatoes, and brown rice. These kinds of carbs release slowly, providing you with energy and fullness throughout your workout.

You can add some lean protein to this meal; like chicken breast or turkey – to help keep you feeling full. Limit your fat and fibre intake, as fats and fibre take a lot longer to digest which can cause stomach discomfort. Try to have this meal 2-3 hours before training, as this will give your body the necessary time to digest it.

Add Salt to your Meal

A lot of us think that salt is bad for us, but actually it’s vital to add it to your pre-workout meal. When we exercise, we sweat, which means that the electrolytes from our body are lost. Sodium is one of these essential electrolytes, and it plays a key role in maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions. 

Without adequate levels of sodium in your body, you might experience muscle cramps, fatigue and impaired performance during your session. By adding a few turns of the salt to your pre-workout meal, you’ll help to prevent electrolyte imbalances, optimise hydration, and support your overall exercise performance. 

Have a Pre-Workout Snack

Although you had your meal 2-3 hours before your session, it’s good to have a pre-workout snack before you head into the gym. When it comes to our pre-workout snack, its best to opt for fast releasing carbs. Fast releasing or fast digesting as some say carbs increase your insulin levels and give you the energy boost that you need.

Some examples of these kinds of carbs are white rice, white toast, fruit, jam, or juice. Have a pre-workout snack that contains these kinds of carbs before you train and you’ll be sure to feel the benefits. You can have this within the hour of your workout, giving you an extra bit of energy before you begin. 

Add a Boost of Caffeine

If you need a little bit of an extra boost, caffeine is your best friend. Incorporating caffeine into your pre-workout routine can provide you with that extra boost of energy, focus and concentration that you need. It’s a natural stimulant that helps increase alertness, improve endurance, and reduce perceived exertion during exercise. 

However, make sure to consume caffeine in moderation as over-consuming on caffeine can be harmful to your health. You also want to also avoid having it in the late afternoon or evening, as caffeine can interfere with our bodies natural sleeping patterns. 

If you’re looking to join new fitness classes in the Dun Laoghaire area, then why not visit us at Urban Fitness? We are South Dublin’s leading group coaching gym, here to get you in the best shape of your life. Our fitness classes are here for you whatever your goals are; whether that be to lose weight, gain muscle, or just to improve your overall fitness. 

Our group training is at the heart of what we do, and we have a huge timetable of fitness classes. We’ve worked hard to create a non-intimidating and encouraging community of members here, that you’ll enjoy training with and getting fit with. Our coaches have many years of experience and knowledge behind them too, so you can trust that you’ll be in safe hands when you train with us.

We have everything that you need at our gym to get fit, all you need to do is turn up and work hard. We’ll be here to push you and guide you through every movement and second of the session; making sure that you get the most out of your time with us. We’re here to help you achieve those long-lasting results that you want, and that you have fun during the process. If you’d like to learn more about our fitness classes at Urban Fitness, head over to our website.