Wednesday, Feb 15, 2023

Just as you wouldn’t put low-quality gasoline in a luxury car, you need to make sure the fuel (aka food) you’re putting in your body can help it perform at optimal levels. What you eat before and after your workouts can be the difference between reaching your goals and falling up short.


There are certain foods you should eat before working out that will assist in your body being more prepared for the task. These foods are known for being the perfect balance of fats, carbs, and protein.  They can fuel your body, stave off hunger, fight fatigue, and even aid recovery. 

Carbs and Protein: The ideal combo would be carbs that break down quickly and are used as fuel during your workout while eating protein which is stored a little longer and is used to prevent muscle damage, so it really is a perfect pairing.

If you are a bodybuilder, you’re trying to stay lean and build plenty of muscle. Eating a small meal about an hour before your workout is ideal. Your small meal should be made up of equal parts lean protein and carbs. But for overall energy make sure you’re providing your body with complex carbohydrates that will help fuel your workout.

Here are a few pre-workout suggestions

  • Fruit smoothies.
  • Yogurt parfaits with granola and fruit.
  • Bananas.
  • Oats.
  • Whole grain bread with a couple of slices of lean meat.
  • Chicken with rice and vegetables.
  • Apples with peanut butter and raisins.
  • Greek yogurt.


On the other hand,  a post-workout snack is just as important. Skipping a snack can increase your level of fatigue and inhibit your body’s repair and recovery processes. It can also decrease your performance the next time you exercise. Here is what you need and why.

High-quality protein should be consumed afterward to build and repair muscle tissue that was broken down while working out. You should shoot for 10 to 20 grams of protein. 

High-antioxidant food is needed to protect your cells from exercise-induced damage.

Here are a few pre-workout suggestions

  • Oats, Greek yogurt, fruit.
  • Eggs, spinach, and potatoes.
  • Meat, rice, vegetables.
  • Smoothie with berries, avocado or nut butter, and protein powder.
  • Greek yogurt, fruit, and grain-free granola.
  • A protein shake made with two bananas, whey protein powder, and whole milk.

However, not all workouts require the same post work out refuel:

Exercisers who train two to three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes can easily recover by having their usual balanced meal that contains carbs, and protein.  

Those who spend 60 to 70 minutes working out at a higher intensity might benefit from a 200-calorie snack consisting of carbs and protein before their main meal.

Regardless of your workout routines, a pre and post-workout meal will contribute you a healthier happy you.  Have questions about your routine or workout?  We have answers! Stop by our front desk and we will be glad to let you speak with a trainer who can help.

Read more about Post work out meals and tips at Forbes Health