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July 4, 2014

What to eat PRE & POST workout





The last thing you want to do is not eat at all before your workout because you risk breaking down your muscle.  Therefore, carbs are the best beforehand.  You want every gram of Carb you consume to be utilized as an immediate fuel source for energy. Avoid eating Fats immediately before your workout because they take longer to digest which may take away from the energy needed to build your muscles.  And don’t forget to hydrate with at least 5-10 ounces of water!

  • 3-4 hours Pre-workout: Eat a complex carb, lean meat, and veggies. This may be chicken, salmon, turkey, sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, eggs, broccoli, or mixed veggies.
  • ½ hour Pre-workout: Eat a snack of carbs & protein. This may be a granola or protein bar, greek yogurt, almonds, or even beef jerky.


There is a window of time (about 30 minutes) after you exercise in which your muscles will accept the nutrients you consume and utilize them for recovery and energy storage.  The main source that is crucial for tissue growth and repair is Protein.  How much you need depends on your body size and activity level.  You can calculate it by following these steps here. In addition, research has indicated that a combination of Whey and Casein protein are best because Whey is a fast digesting protein & Casein is a slow digesting protein.  So make sure to get your protein shake within 30 minutes after leaving the gym!  In addition, you want to get some Carbs afterwards.  Don’t be afraid to add some simple carbohydrates (like a handful of gummy bears, dextrose, multidextrose) directly after your workout to help restore glycogen levels and transport nutrients into the muscle cells for continued muscle growth.  Keep in mind that fruit sources are not a good source for post-workout carbs because they have a low glycemic index.

  • Within 30 minutes Post-workout: Drink a protein shake and eat a simple carb (so it can digest quickly and promote faster recovery).
  • 2 hours Post-workout: Eat a complex carb, lean protein, and veggie.


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  • HI,
    I love your webpage so much good info!!I have a question for you do you eat fruits at all? I’m asking because I’ve lost 14 lbs and I have a major sweet tooth but have noticed that I eat way to much fruit which is alot of sugar so I’ve decreased my amount.What do you do so that you don’t crave sweets/too much fruit.Looking at a day in your life I didn’t see any fruits just curious and any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Take care,


    • Thanks Scarlett!!

      I am a past fruit-aholic. I used to eat apples, pineapple, and strawberries every single day! It was my favorite type of food. Until I started learning more about Nutrition. So now I do not eat any fruit if I am trying to drop body fat or lose weight. You are right, the sugar/carb content is high.

      Here are some other sweet options to help: sugar free jello, crystal light drinks, sugar free gum, sweet potatoes, and sugar free icecream!

      Hope that helps. Good question 🙂

  • Hi Stephanie,

    I loved this article because it gave me reassurance that I am eating/drinking the proper things before and after exercising. However, lately I have been experiencing major bloating immediately after exercising. Do you have any suggestions on what might be causing this.

    I usually eat either tuna, beef jerky, KIND granola bar or even a sweet potato before exercising and then have my protein shake afterwards. I drink water all day long and am not much of salt person. I am just stumped on what could cause the bloat. :0(

    • Amanda, when you workout your body is directed to build and restore your muscles. Blood is moved from your intestines to your extremities. So it is not focused on your digestive system at all. So when you are done with your workout you may get bloated if you ate too much, too soon before your workout. So I would try eating your pre-workout snack earlier. SO if you eat it half hour before, move it back to an hour or even two before.

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