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Pre-workout fuel is important, but it can sometimes be a pain to figure out exactly what to eat or even how to make it. And, honestly, when it comes to preparing for a hardcore workout, the last thing you want eating up your time (pun only kind of intended) is you grinding in the kitchen, trying to put together an energizing meal to have before your workout. Luckily, there are plenty of great slow-cooker pre-workout meals you can whip up that will be sitting ready whenever you need them (with a little advanced planning, that is).
What should you eat before a workout, you ask? The truth is that it depends on the workout and what works best for you. In general, it’s a good idea to eat something relatively high in carbs before a workout and not load up on too many fruits or veggies (their high fiber and water content is great most of the time, but can lead to a sloshy feeling in your stomach during a workout).
The recipes below are filled with healthy carbs and are guaranteed to give you plenty of energy before any kind of workout. Many are breakfast-friendly, which is great for anyone who works out in the morning. But all can be eaten at any time of day, really. (Who’s to say you can’t crush a bowl of oatmeal at 3 p.m.?) Pick one and try it before your next workout!
Blueberry Pie Oatmeal
If you want breakfast before your morning workout, slow-cooker oatmeal is an awesome carb-filled choice. This blueberry oatmeal slow-cooker recipe is great when made with fresh or frozen fruit.
Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Steel-cut oats are packed with carbs and plenty of nutrients. In other words, they’re a great choice before a workout.
Over yogurt or eaten straight-up, this granola is a great pre-workout breakfast or afternoon snack.
Apple-Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Some people might find it irritating to eat raw fruit right before working out, but a little bit of cooked apple in oatmeal is usually a great alternative.
This simple, sweet oatmeal is great before a long run or bike ride.
Whole Wheat Bread
For a simple and fast pre-workout option, try a slice of bread (with honey, peanut butter, jam, or whatever spread you prefer).
Peach French Toast Casserole
This whole wheat french toast casserole is a great thing to prep the night before, then chow down on before an a.m. workout.
Ginger-Walnut Pumpkin Bread
This spiced pumpkin bread is a little bit decadent but great before you head out for a long workout.
You probably won’t want to eat this whole giant pancake before a workout, but one piece will give you plenty of fuel.
Banana French Toast
If you make this banana French toast for breakfast one day, store leftovers in the fridge and heat up a little piece to get you going before a workout.
Banana bread is great at all times, but the combination of nutrients make it an especially great pre-workout option.
Banana Bread Bites
Want a simple pre-workout snack that you can take to-go? These banana bread bites are just that.
This honey granola is essentially a deconstructed granola bar and works great as a morning or afternoon pre-workout boost.
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Dinner rolls aren’t just for dinner time. These portable, easily packable rolls are great for when you need something really quick and easy before a workout.
Want to sneak some veggies into your pre-workout snack? This zucchini bread delivers, without packing in so much fiber that you’ll be uncomfortable.