We’ve all done it before.

You sat at your desk in class all day just waiting for the final bell to ring, dismissing you to your afterschool workout. You get into the gym and begin your training routine, and as you start to kick up the intensity your stomach begins growling.

You realize you last ate during your 11:30 lunch hour, and now you’re taking on your workout with an empty stomach.


Not only is your stomach growling, but you become weak, get distracted, and cause your body to break down muscle to give it energy, instead of building it. None of which are recipes for success in the weight room.

In order to give your body an opportunity for a good workout, it all starts with fueling properly. This means eating a small meal or snack 30 minutes to an hour before your physical activity.

One of the best pre-workout snacks you can have is the simple, classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an easily digestible and tasty treat with plenty of protein and calories to keep you fueled.

To go along with the classic PBJ, a number of other peanut butter sandwich creations can be made for pre-workout fuel as well. Here are three of our favorite recipes from our partner Stack.com:

  1. Peanut Butter and Banana Waffle Taco


  • 1 Special K frozen waffle
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tsp. honey


  1. Toast the waffle to personal preference
  2. Spread peanut butter evenly over the waffle
  3. Place banana in waffle’s center
  4. Fold waffle in half with banana in center

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 376.33
Fat: 17.55 g
Carbohydrates: 51.67 g
Protein: 10.1 g

  1. Peanut Butter and Apple Quesadilla


  • 1 100% whole-wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 tsp. of honey


  1. Place a pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Spread peanut butter evenly over tortilla
  3. Slice apple into thin slices and divide evenly on half the tortilla
  4. Drizzle honey evenly over tortilla
  5. Fold tortilla in half
  6. Place tortilla on pan and grill until it starts to brown — flip over and repeat

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 383.33
Fat: 16.67 g
Carbohydrates: 54.67 g
Protein: 10.78 g

  1. Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap


  • 1 100% whole-wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tsp. honey


  1. Spread peanut butter evenly over the tortilla
  2. Drizzle honey evenly over the tortilla
  3. Place banana on tortilla’s edge
  4. Roll the tortilla with the banana until completely covered

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 393.33
Fat: 16.75 g
Carbohydrates: 56.21 g
Protein: 11.46 g

Although peanut butter is a great pre-workout snack, we know some may not enjoy it and others may be allergic. Other options like a small bowl of healthy cereal, yogurt, dried fruit, oatmeal, or even a fruit smoothie are also easily digestible foods that won’t upset your stomach, and can give you the needed protein.

So next week while working on homework in your afternoon study hall, take a few minutes to refuel before your workout with a healthy and protein-packed snack!