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Nailing a workout requires a lot of energy — energy that you can easily get from a delicious pre-workout snack. When it comes to choosing the right kind of grub, you need to know which nutrients will most efficiently help you get through your sweat sesh. Look for something with complex carbohydrates, which will give you that much-needed energy, and something with a bit of protein to keep you satiated until you're finished. Avoid eating foods with too much fiber and fat, as those lead to an upset stomach.
If you're in need of some tasty snack inspiration, we've rounded up 11 different options that registered dietitians and nutritionists adore. They've got all those nutrients that you need, and they taste pretty stellar to boot.
1. Sweet potatoes with Greek yogurt and cinnamon
"This snack is great when you're in the mood for something satisfying and sweet. I'll use one small peeled and cooked sweet potato and top it with 1/2 cup Greek vanilla yogurt, and dash of cinnamon. Be sure to peel the sweet potato to lessen the fiber content." —Lindsey Pine, M.S., R.D., owner of Tasty Balance Nutrition
2. Medjool dates
"This is my all time favorite pre-run snack. About 30 minutes to an hour before my workout, I'll nosh on two pitted dates. This will give me sustained energy throughout my run, and they taste like candy. Talk about some extra incentive to lace up my running shoes!" —Shannon Garcia, M.D.S., R.D. with KISS in the Kitchen
3. A veggie omelet with toast
"If you like to workout in the morning, go ahead and eat your breakfast first. Eggs make a great pre-workout snack because they're a light meal that is also high in protein. Adding any type of veggie that you like is a great way to get complex carbohydrates and any necessary vitamins and minerals. Just be careful not to add too much cheese, because that will make it a bit harder to digest. Pair this omelet with a slice or two of your favorite whole grain toast for some extra complex carbohydrates. Just be sure your toast isn't straight white bread, which will digest very quickly and provide you with less energy for your workout." — Emily Cope-Kyle, M.S., R.D., owner and consulting dietitian at EmilyKyleNutrition.com
4. A banana with peanut butter
"The best pre-workout snack consists of mostly carbohydrates and a little protein. And it should be low in fiber and fat. This will ensure that the food digests quickly, which will give you energy for your workout without causing any stomach cramps or nausea. One of my personal favorites is a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter." — Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
5. Overnight oats
"Oats provide carbs for energy and yogurt is a good combination of fat and protein. I'll combine 1 cup of Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of oats, 1 tablespoons of maple syrup, and a dash of vanilla extract and cinnamon. Then I refrigerate them overnight and top them with fruit and nuts." — Brittany Kohn, M.S., R.D.
See More: Registered Dietitians Reveal The High-Protein Dinners They Eat Regularly
6. Carrots and hummus
"When it comes to choosing the best pre-workout snack, I look for a combo that provides simple, unrefined carbohydrates (for quick fuel) and a small amount of protein, fiber or fat for extra staying power to carry you through the entire workout. I also opt for simple, easy-to-digest snacks, steering clear of anything that's too acidic, spicy or high in fat to avoid stomach upset during a workout. Carrots provide simple carbs for fast fuel and the hummus boasts fiber to tide you over until after your workout." — Kara Lydon, R.D., L.D.N., R.Y.T., author of Nourish Your Namaste and The Foodie Dietitian Blog
7. Strawberries and flax meal
"I like 1 cup of sliced strawberries topped with 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal. This combo is super satiating (thanks to all the fiber) and easy to digest which gives me a quick energy boost. Turn this into a great post-workout snack too by adding 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt — that added protein will aid muscle recovery." — Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., founder of the New York-based BZ Nutrition
"A little caffeine buzz can actually help energize your workout by improving circulation, which means that it will send more oxygen to your muscles, and add a little pep to your step. The key is to drink coffee with a light snack, like a piece of whole wheat toast with almond butter. Or you could try blending up 4 ounces of black coffee or espresso with 1 cup of almond milk, a banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1/4 cup of uncooked rolled oats. Avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach before a workout to prevent possible gastrointestinal distress. And definitely forgo the sugary coffee drinks." — Dianna Sinni, R.D., L.D., wellness dietitian and blogger at Chard in Charge
9. Grapes and cheddar cheese
"Sometimes you need to figure out what works best for you. This is not a "traditional" snack before a workout, but I love it. It provides quick energy and it digests well: 1 cup of grapes plus 1/2 ounce of grass-fed Cheddar cheese provides 160 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and almost 5 grams of protein. (Hint: Cheese made from 100% grass-fed organic cows provides better-for-you fats and a boost of beta carotene.) Try it!" — Jackie Newgent, R.D., culinary nutritionist and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook
10. Popsicles and protein
"As hot as it has been lately, I love indulging in a one-ingredient popsicle (just 100 percent frozen juice) along with a LUNA protein bar. My current favorite juice to use is 100 percent pomegranate juice, because it is a good source of potassium, which is an important electrolyte for fluid balance. It's a little sweet and tart without any added sugar or artificial ingredients." — Sarah-Jane Bedwell, R.D., L.D.N., host of Cooking with Sarah-Jane
11. A banana milkshake
"Because this snack is blended, it's easier to digest. I like to blend half a banana with 1 cup low-fat milk, along with a dash of cinnamon. The drink provides both the carbs and protein needed to help fuel my workout. This combo is moderate in fat and fiber, so it doesn't sit heavy in my tummy." — Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition
Quotes have been edited for clarity.
This article originally appeared on SELF.