4 Energizing Pre-Workout Snacks to Fuel Your Training According to an F45 Nutritionist  

With the growing popularity of intermittent fasting, the push to fuel up before a workout has become somewhat confusing and debatable [1,2]. According to F45 Sport Nutritionist Kim Bowman, pre-workout fuel choice ultimately depends on your long-term training goal (muscle gain, health, weight loss). Additionally, training type, duration, and intensity are important factors to consider when selecting an optimal source of pre-workout fuel (i.e. HIIT, resistance, or long-distance aerobic exercise). 

In short, pre-workout nutrition is largely individualized and dependent upon training goals. It’s important to test and develop a pre- and post-training nutrition routine that works well for your body. Feeling weak, nauseous, or fatigued while training in a fasted state may be indicative that fueling up before a workout is best. Additionally, a quality pre-workout snack is necessary for those geared towards muscle hypertrophy or engaging in long bouts of aerobic exercise like running or cycling (>1.5 hours) in order to avoid muscle loss and give the body an early recovery boost. The Challenge recipe portal has a variety of energizing pre-workout snacks that can be prepped in less than 5 minutes, including Nutty Date Health Balls and Banana Protein Smoothie (full recipes below). 

What’s the best source of pre-workout fuel?

The base of pre-workout fuel should consist primarily of carbohydrates for a quick energy boost, with a little protein to benefit recovery. Avoid high-fiber and high-fat foods before a workout, as these require extensive digestion and can lead to feelings of fatigue. 

Additionally, pre-training snacks should be small in size (150-250 calories). Consuming a large meal before a workout shifts energy towards the body’s digestive system and can leave you feeling sluggish. Smoothies or shakes are ideal sources of fast-acting fuel before training, as the blending process cuts down digestion time. Adding a single scoop of F45 Fuel protein provides ~25g protein, which is optimal for protein synthesis and muscle development. If smoothies aren’t your thing, then the Challenge energy balls (see below) are a quality source of pre-workout energy. Dates are low-glycemic, which means that they provide a steady source of energy instead of a rapid change in blood sugar (that could otherwise lead to feelings of fatigue). 

Super Antiox Energy Balls

Makes 5 energy balls, 206 calories each


1/2 cup rolled oats

10 fresh dates, pitted

20 raw almonds

1/4 cup cranberries

3 tbsp. F45 Fuel protein powder

2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tbsp. water

Nutty Date Health Balls

Makes 5 energy balls, 259 calories each


150g Medjool dates, pitted

80g ABC (almond, brazil, cashew) nut butter

50g rolled oats

50g desiccated coconut

15g rice malt syrup

1 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch stevia granules

To prepare energy balls: Soak the dates in water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain water and transfer dates to a food processor along with remaining ingredients. Process until combined. Roll the mixture into 5 balls and refrigerate. 1 energy ball per serving. 

Banana Protein Smoothie 

283 calories per serving


1 scoop F45 Fuel (vanilla protein powder)

120g frozen banana

375ml unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup ice

Energy-Boosting Strawberry Smoothie

454 calories per serving 


1 scoop F45 Fuel (vanilla protein powder)

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup spinach leaves

1 tsp. desiccated coconut

1 tsp. cacao powder

1 tbsp. rice malt syrup

1/2 cup ice cubes

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

To prepare smoothies: Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency. Pour the smoothie in a large glass. Serve and enjoy!