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Your pre workout nutrition is absolutely fundamental to how you perform, and during your workout, you’ll want a snack that boosts your energy without leaving you feeling full. There are lots of foods and supplements that are ideal for giving you both quick energy bursts and a longer more slow burning energy supply. In this article, we’ll detail the top 10 energy boosting snacks that are ideal when fuelling endurance exercise.


Cashews, almonds and walnuts have a high calorie density and are full of carbohydrates and protein. They are ideal for a pre workout snack as they pack a nutrient punch, but a handful of these little gems won’t fill you up like heavier snacks. 

Walnuts are high in Omega-3 and contain antioxidants that have energy boosting properties. They help with inflammation too, which will help support efficient recovery post workout. 

In the long run, nuts are a healthy snack option which contain a wealth of nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and vitamin E. These nutrients will all help reduce fatigue and boost your overall energy levels.


2. Bananas

You’ve probably heard that bananas are a great pre workout, and that’s because they truly are one of the best foods you can eat for energy. Bananas are best for sustained energy, so if you’re going on a long run, you’ll want to eat one beforehand. Bananas naturally contain sugar, but they’re also packed with fibre, which helps slow down the digestion of that sugar. Alas, that’s exactly why they’re perfect for slow release energy.

Dip your banana into peanut butter before your workout and you’ve really got a powerful formula for energy. 


3. Oranges

Oranges are also one of the fruit powerhouses when it comes to energy. They are also loaded with Vitamin C, which plays an important role with regards to energy-yielding metabolism in the body. Vitamin C also helps you stay focused and sharp, so if you’re a competitive athlete worried about fine margins, you should integrate oranges into your diet. 


4. Beta Fuel Energy Gummies

Energy gummies are a really convenient way of delivering carbohydrates to your body when you need to fuel endurance-based activities that are in excess of 2 hours. They’re also low in fats and fibres, which means the carbs are delivered fast and efficiently, without the heavy full feeling as an unwanted side effect. 

Another bonus with energy chews, is they are easily used intra-workout. You can eat the individual gummies which contain 7g of carbs alone, or the whole bar which contains 46g of carbohydrates. 


5. Coffee

Okay, technically not a snack, but great for pre workout nonetheless. In fact, caffeine has been proven to boost performance in both endurance activities and resistance training. Not only that, it helps improve focus and reactions – perfect if you’re taking part in competitive sport.

You could also opt for caffeine sports supplements which come in shots. These are ideal if you would rather not have a mug of coffee switching around your stomach during your exercise.


6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a frontrunner when it comes to the ideal ‘breakfast for champions’. Oatmeal is a low-glycemic carb that provides long-lasting energy and helps support recovery, which is exactly why countless athletes choose it as their race-day breakfast. 

You can integrate lots of other energy-boosting foods into your oatmeal breakfast. Opt for berries, seeds, peanut butter and greek yoghurt, and you’ve got a breakfast with zero competition as far as event day is concerned. 


7. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have been used throughout history as a great source of long lasting energy. Not only that, they’re packed full of fibre, Omega 3 fatty acids and protein. Grab a handful before your workout for a light but nutrient rich snack, sprinkle them over your morning oatmeal or add them to your smoothie to increase your intake. 


8. Energy Bars

Last on our list, but certainly not least, we’ve got energy bars. They are made for this sole purpose – to give you a nice light snack when you need energy the most. The Science in Sport bars are made with natural fruits and are packed full of carbs – perfect for a healthy snack that delivers energy in a fast and efficient format. 

It’s best to aim for 1 to 2 bars per hour in order to reach the recommended 60g of carbohydrates per hour during exercise.

Written By

Jessica Redman - Head Coach and Founder of Work That, Trustee at CIMSPA

Jessica founded an online personal training platform called ‘Work That’ and was previously Co-founder of ‘GRL GYM’. She is currently on the CIMSPA board where she is aiming to help drive forward knowledge about the benefits exercise has on mental health. Jess believes in using exercise to help people feel good, relive pain and enjoy an active lifestyle.