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Is green juice good before a workout?

Green juice has become an increasingly popular health drink in recent years. Made from leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables, green juice provides a concentrated dose of nutrients that can give you an energy boost before exercise. But is drinking green juice actually beneficial pre-workout? Here’s a detailed look at the potential pros and cons.

Potential Benefits of Green Juice Before a Workout

There are several reasons why green juice may be advantageous to drink before a workout:

Nutrient Dense

Green juices pack a nutritional punch. Just one serving provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes from whole fruits, veggies, and greens. This includes nutrients that are important for energy production like B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and manganese.

Consuming these nutrients before exercise can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation during your workout. It also provides your body with the micronutrients it needs to function at optimal levels.


Hydration is crucial before, during, and after exercise. Being even slightly dehydrated can negatively impact physical performance. Green juices have high water content, helping you hydrate before hitting the gym or starting your training session.

Carbs for Energy

Many green juice recipes include fruits like apples, pineapple, grapes, and berries. The natural carbohydrates in these fruits can help fuel your muscles, allowing you to push harder and longer during exercise. Carbs get broken down into glucose, which your muscles can directly use for energy.


When you sweat, your body loses electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Drinking green juice pre-workout helps replenish these important minerals and prevent muscle cramping, fatigue, and performance declines during exercise.


Intense exercise causes oxidative stress, which happens when the production of free radicals overwhelms your body’s antioxidant defenses. Antioxidants help counteract these harmful compounds. Since green juices are packed with antioxidants, they may support your body’s antioxidant systems before a tough workout.

Potential Drawbacks of Green Juice Before Exercise

Despite the potential upsides, there are also some factors to consider regarding consuming green juice before your workout:

Blood Sugar Spikes

The fruit content of some green juices can cause big spikes in blood sugar levels. Rapid rises in blood sugar can lead to energy crashes mid-workout. This is especially true if the juice has fruits like pineapple, mango, grapes, and apples.

Gas and Bloating

Drinking green juices too quickly or closer to your workout can lead to gas, abdominal pain, and bloating. This is because they’re rich in fiber, which can be hard to digest when consumed in large amounts at once. The high fruit content can also ferment in your gut causing discomfort.

Diuretic Effects

While hydrating, some greens have natural diuretic effects. Spinach, kale, parsley, and dandelion greens make you urinate more frequently. Consuming them before your workout can make you lose fluids and electrolytes through frequent peeing.

Reduced Appetite

Large or high-calorie green juices before exercise may blunt your appetite. This can mean taking in fewer total calories throughout the day. If weight loss is not your goal, this can be counterproductive.

Delayed Gastric Emptying

The high fiber and thick texture of most green juices can delay stomach emptying. This may make fluids and nutrients temporarily unavailable during exercise. It’s best to allow 1-2 hours for digestion before hitting the gym.

Ideal Time to Drink Green Juice Before Exercise

Timing is an important factor when it comes to pre-workout nutrition:

  • Have green juice 1-2 hours before exercising for proper digestion and maximum nutrient absorption.
  • Avoid large amounts within 30-60 minutes of your workout to minimize gastrointestinal issues.
  • Smaller amounts can be tolerated closer to exercise (e.g. 8-12 oz).
  • Experiment to see what timing and portion sizes work best for your individual needs and goals.

Best Ingredients for Pre-Workout Green Juice

Certain ingredients make green juices more optimal for fueling exercise:

Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, parsley, cilantro, etc. Provide antioxidants, magnesium, and folate.


Hydrating and contains electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.


Has electrolytes, plus contains nitrates that can boost energy and oxygen use.


Anti-inflammatory and may reduce muscle pain during intense exercise.


Provides vitamin C and electrolytes. Adds flavor and enhances the greens.

Chia Seeds

A source of carbohydrates, protein, omega-3s and gut-healthy fiber.

Apple, Grapes, Pineapple

Contain carbs for energy, as well as hydrating properties.

Sample Pre-Workout Green Juice Recipes

Here are two sample green juice recipes to try before a workout:

Green Power Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 leaves kale
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 apple

Tropical Green Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Other Pre-Workout Foods and Drinks

While green juice can be a good pre-workout choice, here are some other nutrient-dense options to fuel exercise:

Food/Drink Benefits
Banana Carbs for energy, potassium for muscle function
Oatmeal Complex carbs, fiber, magnesium for endurance
Nut butter on toast Carbs, protein, healthy fats for sustainable energy
Greek yogurt Carbs, protein, probiotics to aid digestion
Coffee Caffeine boosts alertness, endurance, strength
Water Hydrates muscles, regulates body temperature

The Bottom Line

Drinking green juice before exercise can provide hydration and nutrients that prime your body for an energetic, strong workout. However, timing, portion size, and ingredients are key. Some people may experience GI discomfort or energy crashes. The best approach is to try different green juices in moderation ahead of workouts to see how your body responds.

Focus on smooth, digestible blends rich in electrolytes and antioxidants. Avoid large amounts within an hour pre-workout. And always properly fuel and hydrate post-exercise for optimal recovery. Overall, green juice can be a refreshing and healthy addition to your routine when consumed mindfully around exercise.