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Pre-workout Snacks: Dos and Don’ts

March 17, 2011

Grrr … I’ve got some serious sniffles today (thank you Peter for giving me your cold). I managed to get through a day at work, but decided the best course of action was to take a rest day from exercise. My plan for today was swimming and I really didn’t feel like getting wet. I considered heading for the gym, but when I got home I just hit the sofa … a much better plan!

I’ll rewind to Tuesday evening when I had an awesome gym workout. I read somewhere that you get a burst of energy before coming down with a cold and it certainly seems true for me. I hit a PB on the rowing machine, partly due to feeling good and also partly due to sitting next to a fit guy (not in the good-looking sense of the word unfortunately) doing a 2k. I fell into his stroke and tried to match his power as best I could. It really reminded me of how good rowing on the water in a four or eight can be – all working together as a team. I used to row at university, but haven’t been on the water for six years now. If there was a decent rowing club in Leeds I might be tempted to join, but it is a huge commitment with lots of early morning and cross-training sessions. However, if you have the time and inclination and would enjoy getting fit as part of a team I would really recommend giving rowing a try.

The one downside of my workout was the fact that I felt sick all the way through, especially after those rowing intervals. The culprit was the sprouted wheat and date bread I ate about an hour beforehand. I suffered from indigestion for at least 24 hours afterwards as well. I guess it’s going on my pre-workout snacks don’ts list. So far my dos and don’ts look like this:

Pre-workout snacks: dos

  • Banana
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • 2 ryvita or oatcakes spread thinly with cream cheese or nut butter
  • Fruit with a little yoghurt
  • Nakd bar

Pre-workout snacks: don’ts

  • Hummus
  • Sprouted wheat bread
  • Porridge

What pre-workout snacks work for you?

Yesterday I went down to London with work and managed to be well behaved food-wise. We went to a pub for lunch and I had a ham sandwich. I treated myself to brown rice sushi from Waitrose for dinner on the train back. Not much else to report from yesterday apart from there was a cat of the train – wtf? I’m allergic and I wasn’t happy, fortunately it (and its owners) got off after an hour.

I decided to do something a bit different for my breakfast this morning:


A scrambled duck egg, some cooked mushrooms and a slice of wholemeal toast with marmite. I should eat eggs for breakfast more often, it gives me a great start the the day and really keeps my appetite under control.

I was feeling poorly this evening, so decided some homemade soup was in order. Unfortunately I had no-one to make me soup, so I had to do it myself! I plumped for pea soup because all I had to do was fry up an onion, empty a bag of frozen peas into the pan, add stock and cook for 20 minutes. I blitzed with a hand blender when cooked. I also attempted socca for the first time using the gram flour I picked up from the mill at the weekend! I’m well and truly on that bandwagon now – it was yummy. I made it really simple, just seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika:


I’m going to try and sleep off this cold now – goodnight x

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 8:52 pm

    Sorry for the cold!

  2. DonnyFan permalink
    March 17, 2011 8:57 pm

    I find porridge is a great thing before a workout, but a good 2 hours before! I went out for a run a while back only an hour or so after my podge and thought I was going to have to go behind a tree to throw 😦

    Nakd bars I love.

    Bananas – yuck. I wish I liked them but the texture makes me heave.

    I’m a bit of a creature of habit so tend to stick to the same ole known tried and trusted, although I think I could do with being a bit more adventurous.

    I definitely draw the line at marmite though. Bleurgh!

    Hope you feel better soon x

  3. March 17, 2011 9:20 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re poorly; hope you get/are currently getting a good night’s sleep!
    I don’t do gym workouts but I know I can’t eat porridge just before I go on the bike because it really weighs me down – cold cereal, yoghurt, eggs etc are all good though 🙂

  4. March 17, 2011 9:54 pm

    At the moment my pre-workout snack is my breakfast … a no for me is to add peppers to my egg – I can taste them all the way through my workout 🙂
    Hope you feel better soon, maybe some chicken soup to help comfort?

  5. March 17, 2011 10:42 pm

    No-nos for me are yoghurt, apples and peanut butter/ trek pb bars.
    Good ones are nakd bars, clif bars, seed stacked bars, oatcakes with sunflower seed butter.
    Or after porridge for breakfast.

  6. March 17, 2011 10:58 pm

    Get well soon!

    The best pre-exercise snacks for me are bananas and gluten-free bars: the oats in regular Nakd bars are sometimes a bit harsh. Organic Food Bars and GF Mini-Nakds seem to work the best.

    Swimming and colds never mix: even I didn’t swim when I had a sinus infection. Chlorine + cold water + other people’s bugs = not conjusive to healing!

    Hope you feel better tomorrow.


  7. March 17, 2011 11:58 pm

    Haha, I love that you have a do’s and don’ts list! I don’t really, but I do have to be careful not to eat too much.

    And you were dead right to skip the workout this evening. Exercise supresses the immune system, so will prolong an illness, or make it worse. Best to take the duvet time.

    And nice work on the rowing pb!

  8. March 18, 2011 6:07 am

    Bananas, PB- I hate bagels but they make good race fuel!

  9. March 18, 2011 9:46 am

    Hope you recover from your cold soon! I really can’t workout on much food so I tend to like dried fruit based stuff that gives instant energy – dates are my favorite and nakd bars or home made cookies and the like seem to work well for me – porridge for example would be just too much!

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