Top 12 Pre-Workout Meals For Muscle Gain: Explore These Foods!

Written by Dr. Amber Jones

If you are working out for specific goals such as muscle gain, strength training, resistance training, and weight loss, it is important that you curate your diet accordingly too.

There are also a lot of lifestyle changes that you need to implement in the same regard. When it comes to your daily dietary preferences, your pre-workout and post-workout meals also have a lot of importance.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the important food items or meal options that you can consider having before you hit the gym if you are working out, particularly focusing on muscle gain. 

How Do 12 Pre-workout Meals Help In Gaining Muscles?

Pre-workout Meals For Gaining Muscles

1. Oats 

Having oatmeal in different forms just before you hit the gym is quite important in many ways, especially if you are concentrating on muscle gain.

Oat is a rich source of fiber, and it also got enough protein and fiber in it. The rich fiber content in oats would help in converting the carbohydrates into energy required to work out without severe exhaustion and better stamina. 

2. Fruits 

Fruits have also got similar functions, just like oast, when it comes to supporting an individual to work out.

Fruits are also rich in fiber, which helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy. This energy would be utilized for working out in the gym.

If there has been an accumulation of carbs in the body, it would also get burned easily when you consume fruits as a pre-workout meal. 

3. Banana and honey smoothie 

You may prepare a smoothie using bananas and honey. The smoothie can be made more nutritious if you add a few nuts and seeds to it.

This would act as a rich source of potassium since it contains bananas. Honey helps in the release of sugar into the brain at a much slower pace, which can also be quite beneficial for those who are working out for muscle gain. 

4. Sprouts and legumes salads 

If you can combine some of your favorite sprouts and other legumes with a healthier dressing, you have just made one of the best pre-workout meals for muscle gain.

This meal is a complete source of complex carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients that help in the slow release of energy for a prolonged period of time.

Moreover, if made in the right way, it will not compromise on taste.

5. Fruits and yoghurt bowl 

This is another great option if you are looking for something delicious that leaves you with the feeling of having it over and over again.

You may mix any fruit of your choice with a scoop or two of Greek yoghurt. Make sure that you are choosing Greek yoghurt since it is quite rich in protein.

The complex carbs in the fruits will provide you with ample energy, and the protein in the yoghurt suppresses hunger pangs. 

6. Chickpeas 

Chickpeas are one of the best sources of protein, especially if you are looking for a plant-based pre-workout meal option.

This can be a whole meal all by itself if you can season it with some lime juice, salt, and black pepper powder after getting it boiled.

You may also consume the roasted variety, but only in moderation. The protein in chickpeas suppresses your hunger and helps you workout for a longer duration. 

7. Eggs 

This is one of the excellent sources of protein preferred by people across the world. Moreover, it is quite a delicious option too.

You may have it half-boiled if you are consuming it as a pre-workout meal for muscle gain. Apart from that, it is also rich in healthy fats, if you are not binning the yolks.

However, take consultation with your trainer regarding how much yolk you should consume along with the egg whites. 

8. Peanuts 

Peanuts are also one of the tastiest options you may consider if you are looking forward to another plant-based pre-workout meal option for weight loss.

Just like chickpeas, you can have it boiled or roasted. However, if you would like to have more quantity, it is better to have them boiled with some healthy seasoning.

It is also best to supply your body with enough protein and complex carbs to make the workouts more effective. 

9. Tuna with rice 

If you are okay with consuming animal-based food items on a daily basis, tuna mixed with rice can be a complete pre-workout meal option that you can consider.

Tuna is a rich source of protein among seafood items. It is also rich in carbohydrates. This combination would help you have a slow release of energy and a prolonged feeling of fullness while working out. 

10. Chicken breast with veggies 

This is one of the best pre-workout meals suggested by fitness trainers all over the world, especially for those who are looking forward to gaining muscles.

Chicken breast is an excellent source of complex carbs and protein, helping with muscle gain. The fiber in the veggies would also help the process. 

11. Cottage cheese omlet with whole-grain bread

This is another excellent combination of complex carbs and rich proteins. It would also help in sustaining energy and suppressing hunger pangs during intense workout sessions. 

Cheese Omlet

12. Nutrition bars 

If you are looking for something that is easy to consume, especially when you are in a hurry to hit the gym, nutrition bars are a great option. They will provide you with the amount of complex carbs and protein required for an effective workout


These are some of the most effective food items that you can consume on a daily basis before you hit the gym for a workout session intended for muscle gain.

However, it is also important to notice which food item or meal option gives you the most energy and which drains you more easily.

You may also consider having an expert consultation and a detailed blood routine in order to check for any deficiencies if you are not feeling charged up enough even after consuming these food items and meal options before working out. 


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Amber Jones is a sought-after dietitian nutritionist with expertise in public and community health. She holds a Masters in Public Health from Yale University and completed her dietetic internship with the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

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