Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Aug 17, 2006 08:15 PM

Loving my new pre-workout meal!

I have started working out w/ a trainer 3x a week as part of my journey to health and fitness but found I was starving by the time I left and made really bad food choices as soon as I got home. One of the nutrition coaches recommended this to me and it sounded SO gross. He said it was a big thing out West and they even serve it in restaurants. So I figured what the heck:

-Mix TBS of peanut butter into a hot baked/micro'd sweet potato and then top w/ cottage cheese.

If I had ever seen this on a menu I would have never ordered it but now that I have tried it it is SO good and just the right amount of fat/carbs/protein to give me energy for work out and keep me from being ravenous after. I eat it at my desk around 3:30 or 4:00, work out at 6:00, do a 1/2 hour of cardio after, home by 7:30. Perfect!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've never ever seen that in a restaurant here out west, but I'm willing to give it a go because I LOVE sweet potatoes. They're one of the most nutrient dense foods out there, and all my gym rat friends love it.

    To make it even more filling, I would consider using some real peanuts instead of (or in addition to) the peanut butter. Anything you have to chew on will take longer to digest than something that's already been ground up, and plain peanuts don't have sugar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      But w/ peanut butter it get all melted into the potato! You have to try it!

      And for all the naysayers about eating before a workout do you really think eating 2-2.5 hours is really going to cause cramps and decrease fat burning?? I used to eat a yogurt w/ fruit or a bar of some kind and it just didn't do it for me. I was hungry before I got to the gym never mind after! it just wasn't enough food for me. This combination, which I like, seems to hold me more than the others.

      Before everyone gets all tied up about the west coast thing, I said the West-he was talking specifically about Colorado, etc not California. The only reason I ever mentioned it is because it sounded so bizarre I had no idea how anyone would even describe on it menu never mind interest anyone in eating it. As learned you just have to try it.

      Lastly he wasn't recommending it as the perfect workout food to lost weight, build muscle etc. As the nutrition coach he was recommending food with more staying power. Geez Louise I was just telling you all about bizarre combo that sounds gross but is really delicious. Isn't that the point of this site??? delicious food?

      1. re: foodieX2

        Two hours is plenty of time for most people to digest a normal meal enough to go work out. Heck, I only watch what I'm eating if I'm going running and don't want it sloshing around. If I'm just weight lifting, I carry around a protein bar to eat halfway through. Forget the calories: nothing would be worse than feeling faint and having a bar fall on me! My favorite is the Luna Bar lemon zest; my friend prefers Clif's lemon poppyseed.

        Different people's bodies have different needs, never mind how much it depends on what you mean by "work out" (Running? Swimming? Heavy weight training? Lifting 2 lb. weights and calling it lifting? Spinning? Boxing? The list goes on, and each affects your hunger levels a little differently).

    2. Does sound interesting but my doctor told me not to eat before workouts because it makes your body work hard to burn the stored fat.

      1. We have plenty of fads but that is not one of them.

        No offense to your trainer but I have never heard even the healthiest food nut/exercise fool discuss this and certainly haven't seen this on a menu in LA. It really sounds like something that should be eaten in the privacy of one's own home.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JudiAU

          I have to second that - I train at the mecca of the body builder / gym rat / 10 egg whites and two chicken breasts before 8 a.m. crowd, i.e. gold's gym in venice beach, and i've never seen that combination nor heard anyone mention it. and it's not on the menu at any of the local restaurants that cater to that crowd. (off topic, maybe, but sometimes i feel the need defend my home against rumors of bizarreness. not that there isn't a lot of actual bizarreness.)

          1. re: cookie monster

            I'm with you on this one Cookie Monster. What some people try and pass off as being a Left Coast trait or characteristic is sometimes pretty outrageous. I've never, ever seen this food combination anywhere in the state of California and I work out a lot too.

        2. I've decided to workout before work every morning. Problem is that I usually get really lightheaded when I work out in the mornings w/out eating something first. Is there something you woudl recommend eating early in the morning before a workout that will not give me cramps while working out? FYI - I'll eat breakfast after the workout.

          8 Replies
          1. re: waterisgood

            I just grab a big handful of Quaker Oat Squares as I'm heading out the door.

            1. re: waterisgood

              I always found a banana or a fruit bar worked for me... I tend to go for the health store brands (Barbaras Bakery) but nutri-grain works... I also like Natures Valley (I think that is the name - simple yellow packaging) from the supermarket...

              1. re: Michele4466

                Something dense and small as others have suggested. A banana, something with oats in it, a cup of yogurt with fruit. But for me, it just took getting used to. Before, I would have to eat, rest, and then go run/work out. Now I can just drink plenty of water in the morning, go out, and come back for breakfast.

                1. re: Michele4466

                  BTW: I just checked and it is Health Valley, not Natures Valley... I usually go for the blueberry or strawberry but they have other flavors as well...

                2. re: waterisgood

                  How long have you been on this regimen? My guess is that the cramps will subside as you get into better shape. (A few years ago I used to have the same problem; now I can barely do endurance work without eating a bucket of cereal first...)

                  Until your body gets used to the new workout plan, or if your stomach proves permanently delicate, stick to easily-digestible foods. Simple carbohydrates are your friend! Try those energy gels sold in running/cycling shops. They are specially formulated to digest easily during exercise, and chocolate ClifShot actually tastes pretty good. If you want "real food" or have to keep a tight budget, try a banana, a breakfast bar, or even just a glass of juice.

                  1. re: feedzone

                    Banana, breakfast bar (I like Luna bars) and juice are all good. So is yogurt, because the protein will help keep your blood sugar stable.

                    I've never heard of peanut butter/cottage cheese/sweet potato either. But sweet potatoes and peanuts sort of go together (or at least, they're both used in the same cuisines). If the cottage cheese idea doesn't appeal to you, you might try plain yogurt. I mixed some peanut butter and yogurt the other day trying to get a good consistency for piping (for decorating something for a dog, if you must know), and it was surprisingly tasty -- the tang of the yogurt cut some of the sticky/oily elements of the peanut butter.

                    1. re: feedzone

                      bananas send my blood sugar to the roof and I feel shakey 15 minutes after eating them.

                    2. re: waterisgood

                      I do 2 hours of intense workout on Saturday mornings - an hour with a hardcore personal trainer followed by an hour on the Pilates reformer. I usually have peanut butter toast and a fuji apple, or yogurt with Jay Robb sweet potato gems, or oatmeal and fruit. The workout is usually followed by a "real" breakfast.

                    3. My trainer suggested a piece of whole grain toast with 1 tbs.peanut butter on it...and an apple one hour before working out. It works fine for me. I used to be so hungry before I finished my workout.