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Pro Tips from Our Gym in Durham: The BEST Foods to Eat Before Working Out

Last week we covered everything NOT to eat before getting your workout in and today, we’re sharing all the goods! Today’s article shares what celebrity trainer, Phillip Goglia considers to be the best pre-workout snack as well as other healthy options.

As always, if you’re loving this series and feel inspired to reboot your fitness and diet plan, come chat with our Durham personal trainers to get started on a healthier you!

We hope you Durham fitness lovers enjoy this article! And as always, thank you Dr. Goglia for your excellent insight!


The “YES” Pre-Workout Food List:

  • Raw Seeds: Raw seeds off a great source of fat as an energy source pre-workout. If the husks of the seeds do not adversely affect your digestion then they can be a great pre-workout choice. Make sure to consume between 100 and 150 calories of seeds before workout and give your body about 20 min to digest them. It is even better if the seeds are nuts like 12 almonds or almond butter 100 c mixed with 1 fruit portion. The sugar and fat combination will be extremely energizing and sustainable for a workout of 90 minutes or less. Try the nuts or nut butters with an apple… YUM!
  • Hummus and/or Bean Dips : Bean dip and hummus are sugar based with added oils. If you are not gastrically sensitive to that combination then the use of 1 tbsp 100 – 120 c before a workout can be energy sustaining. There are many benefits to beans as long as they have been soaked prior to cooking to release the mold from them. If not soaked you run the risk of consuming a high mold food that can lead to inflammation and reduction of oxygen consumption. Generally speaking, because the bean does take considerable preparation and the risk of molds. Most athletes distance themselves from consistent bean use and only using them intermittently and sparing unless on a vegetarian or vegan program

How does what you eat affect your energy level/ability to exercise?

Foods prior to exercise should be strategically consumed based on the time spent exercising and the type of exercise, ie. weights vs endurance or aerobic sport. The wrong foods or hydration choose will greatly reduce your training intensity and your results

Anything else you think is important to add to this article?

There are so many pre-training foods to choose from on the market! I say keep it simple and basic! A pre-training, 90 min or less, low-glycemic meal should be approx 200 calories with a fairly even split of sugar and fat, providing sustainable even energy.  All of my athletes either use a bonk breaker bar or they keep it even simpler : 1 fruit with 1 tbsp of almond butter. Again, keep it simple — no fake science!


Meet Dr. Philip Goglia
President & Founder of Performance Fitness Concepts

Dr. Philip Goglia  has been a certified nutritionist for over 30 years and holds a PhD in Nutritional Science in addition to being a graduate of Duke University, The American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. His nutritional expertise is fully measurable, with the proven ability to take all of his clients and athletes to the highest level of their performance and competitive abilities. He has a pedigree of athletic history himself as a high school and collegiate All-American wrestler, a storied 12 year history as a rugby player, a Mr. North America bodybuilding champion, and a Grand-Am motorsports race car driver.

Dr. Goglia’s bestselling book, “Turn up the Heat – Unlock the Fat Burning Power of Your Metabolism” is an acclaimed “Best Seller” and was featured on E! Entertainment, CNN, People Magazine, In Touch, Life and Style, In style, Men’s Fitness and Vogue. He is the official nutritional consultant for the Dr. Phil show and The Doctors television shows, and was the nutritionist for Jennifer Grey, for her season 11 win on Dancing with the Stars (and the oldest winner).

Having been a three time cancer survivor and once told that he would never walk correctly again or play a sport, he fully understands the commitment it takes to emotionally and physically take a stand for health and well-being. Daily, he supports his clients to overcome their wellness obstacles through the use of his years of education, life experience and wisdom.


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