7 R.D.-approved pre-workout snacks you can buy at the supermarket

Note: Video above includes more R.D.-approved items to always keep in your pantry!

Chowing down on a nutritious snack is a great way to get yourself amped for a workout. If your grub of choice is packing in the right mix of nutrients—protein and complex carbohydrates—it can provide you with the energy you need to sail through your go-to HIIT routine or yoga class like a pro.

But sometimes you just don't have the time to whip up a snack before you scoot your boot to the gym. Maybe that's because you're coming from work and were barely even able to throw on sneakers and leggings. Or maybe you're waking up at 4 A.M. for a five-mile run, and you'd rather sleep for five more minutes than throw together breakfast. If you aren't hungry, then you don't need to worry about eating. But if you are, having ready-to-go, store-bought snacks on hand is the easy solution for this situation.

Which snacks should you shop? Registered dietitians have seven great recommendations. Look for these the next time you're at the grocery store, and keep them in your fridge or gym bag at all times.

7 R.D.-approved pre-workout snacks you can buy at the supermarket
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7 R.D.-approved pre-workout snacks you can buy at the supermarket

KIND Healthy Grains Bars

“At the end of the day, a good pre-workout snack is one that provides carbohydrates, goes down easy, and doesn't leave you running to the bathroom mid-workout. KIND Grain Bars are great carb-rich options that are easy to stash in your handbag. They’re my go-to pre-workout snack when I'm on the run and don't have time to sit down and eat something before I exercise.”

— Edwina Clark, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., and head of nutrition and wellness at Yummly

Courtesy of Kind
Fresh fruit and Justin’s Almond Butter packets

“You need to be sure that you’re adequately fueled during your workout. Your pre-workout snack should be comprised mainly of carbohydrates, and a bit of added of protein to keep you satisfied. I like to buy pre-sliced apples and a Justin’s Classic Almond Butter packet, which I’ll grab at the supermarket on my way to spin class.”

— Lisa Mikus, R.D., C.N.S.C, Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services


Chocolate milk

“I like to drink chocolate milk before strength training, because it has an easily digestible combination of carbohydrates and protein—two nutrients that your muscles especially need during the healing and repairing process.”

— Caroline West Passerrello, M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

kuarmungadd / Getty Images

Sargento Balanced Breaks Cheese Snacks

“I like these cheese and nut snacks because they're pre-portioned, which helps you avoid eating more than the recommended serving size (which is easy to do with both). The mix of carbs and protein will provide you with sustained energy throughout your workout. I like snacking on this before an afternoon fitness class or an easy run.”

Emily Holdorf, R.D.N.

Courtesy of Sargento

100-Calorie Pack Wonderful Pistachios

“A 100-calorie pack of Wonderful Pistachio nuts is a great pre-workout snack and it’s available in nearly every drugstore you pass on the way to the gym. With 6 grams of energizing protein and 3 grams of filling fiber (plus good-for-you fats), pistachios will help fill you up without weighing you down during your workout. Plus, their combination of electrolytes and antioxidants will help combat muscle and joint fatigue post-workout as well. They are always what I eat leading up to my 45-minute spin class.”

— Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D., M.P.H., C.D.N., founder of the New York-based BZ Nutrition

Courtesy of Wonderful

Cereal and milk

“I recommend a snack that is easy to digest and contains complex carbohydrates and protein. It’s also important to make sure you’re hydrated, because that’s just as important as the nutrients you’re eating. I like to eat 1 cup of cereal with low-fat milk prior to an intense SoulCycle or kickboxing class, a 30- to 60-minute run, or an intense CrossFit workout.”

Lori Zanini, R.D., C.D.E

Getty Images

Siggi's Icelandic-Style Yogurt

Siggi's Icelandic-Style Yogurt is my favorite go-to pre-workout snack to grab from the supermarket before a long run. Their philosophy is ‘simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar' and that’s what makes this yogurt great fuel for workout. The 2 percent variety has a perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates, without the added sugar."

— Emily Cope-Kyle, M.S., R.D. owner and consulting dietitian at EmilyKyleNutrition.com

Courtesy of siggi's


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