What To Eat Pre/Post Workout

One of the most common questions we get asked by clients is “what should I eat before my workout?” or “what should I eat after my workout?” If you have asked this before, you aren’t alone!

There isn’t a “one answer fits all” solution, but we can give you a few tips to point you in the right direction…

Pre-workout Meal

Consume your pre-workout meal 30-90 minutes before you exercise. It should include a carbohydrate and protein and be low in fat.

1.) Carbohydrates: Your body will use the energy from carbohydrates to get you through the workout. A piece of fruit 30-60 minutes before your workout should be sufficient. A small cup of oatmeal or a piece of toast are other options.

2.) Protein: A source of protein before your workout will help fuel your muscles during exercise. A small scoop of whey protein (25-30g for men, 15-20g for women) works well 30-60 minutes prior, or alternatively a chicken breast, can of tuna or other protein source will suffice.

Why It’s Important

1.) More energy during workouts Filling up your glycogen stores can improve your energy levels during exercise significantly.

2.) Protects your muscle – Your body is generally in a catabolic state during intense exercise, meaning if your body doesn’t have fuel from a pre-workout meal, it can break down muscle tissue to fuel itself.


Post-workout Meal

Consume your post-workout meal within 30 minutes after you finish exercising. It should include a carbohydrate and protein and be low in fat.

1.) Carbohydrates: After a workout, your energy levels are depleted and need to be replaced. Once again, a fruit, oatmeal or a piece of toast are options for a post workout meal.

2.) Protein: Protein is vital to muscle repair after a hard workout. 25-35g of protein for men and 15-20g for women should do the trick. Protein powder is the easiest and most efficient protein source post-workout, but if you can swing it, try going for protein that comes straight from the source such as chicken, tuna, steak etc.

Why It’s Important

1.) Prevents muscle breakdown - This is especially true if you have just completed a strength workout. Strength training creates micro-tears in your muscle fibres, which need adequate nutrition to repair!

2.) Increases Protein Syntehsis - Your body is craving nutrients after a workout, and a healthy dose of carb’s can help deliver protein to your muscles instead of turning into fat.

3.) Faster Recovery - A good post-workout snack can help reduce soreness so that you can get right back to it!

4.) Keep energy levels up - Your energy levels will remain much higher after a workout thanks to a good post-workout meal.

Last Tip

Every person reacts differently to pre/post workout meals. Experiment yourself to see how you feel during your workout or after your workout. If you feel energized and feeling good, the pre/post meal you had probably did the trick. If you feel tired, nauseas, or bloated after your workout, try switching up your pre/post workout meals until you find what works best for you.


adam browne