What to eat before and after a workout

Everyone is different so it may take a little time to learn what foods are best for you. Also  different exercises require different amounts of  ”fuel”, but with proper exercise nutrition you can maximize your workout and energy throughout the day. Here are some tips on what to eat before and after a workout: By inspired souls

BEFORE a Workout:

In general, before a workout, you should eat a meal or snack that consists of carbs and a little protein. Avoid foods that could upset your stomach. Instead choose something easy to digest. How much you eat before a workout may depend on the type of exercise you are doing and for how long. For example if you are going on a short walk you probably won’t need to eat as much as you would if you were doing an intense activity for an extended amount of time. Here is my general guide to eating before a workout:

If you have 3 or 4 hours before your workout:

Eat a light meal. Suggestions:

  • Whole Wheat Toast with almond butter and bananas
  • Lean protein with veggies
  • English muffin with hummus and veggies
  • Smoothie with fruit, ice, and milk

If you have 1 or 2 hours before a workout:

Eat a snack that is mainly carb and some protein. Ideas:

  • Cereal with skim milk
  • Oatmeal with fresh fruit
  • Yogurt with a small amount of a nutty granola and fresh fruit
  • Apple Wedges with Almond Butter
  • Health Bar *Check ingredients before, some have weird ingredients and a ton of calories and sugar. (I like these ones) Or try my date energy ball recipe here.

If you have 30 min before a workout: 

Choose a light snack that is very easy to digest.

  • Applesauce
  • Raisins
  • Saltine crackers

AFTER a Workout:

After a workout your body is in a recovery mode. To help with muscle recovery and growth (soreness too) it is best to eat lean protein with carbs. My nutrition professor recommended eating something small, such as a handful of almonds or a protein bar, within 30 minutes of a workout and a meal within 3 hours. Check out these post-workout ideas:

  • Grilled chicken and veggies
  • Scramble or omelet with veggies
  • Salmon quinoa and salad
  • Cottage cheese with banana
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Whole wheat bead with tuna
  • Chocolate milk

and of course don’t forget to HYDRATE before, during, and after a workout!!!!! Pure water is usually best for the average workout. Athletes may benefit from an electrolyte sports drink, but for most people these drinks are just extra sugar and calories.

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