What to Eat Before and After Workouts


When it comes to fitness journeys, it’s not just about the exercises you perform; it’s also about the fuel you provide your body. Knowing what to eat before and after workouts for proper nutrition is crucial for optimising performance, enhancing recovery, and achieving your fitness goals.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of what to eat before and after workouts and provide guidance to maximise your fitness potential.

What to Eat Before and After Workouts

Pre-Workout Nutrition:

Fueling your body before a workout is like giving your car the right type of gas before a long drive—it ensures optimal performance. Here’s what to consider for pre-workout nutrition:

Ideally, consume a balanced meal 2-3 hours before your workout. If you’re exercising within an hour, opt for a smaller, easily digestible snack.

Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source. Include complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your pre-workout meal to provide sustained energy.

Incorporate a moderate amount of protein to support muscle maintenance and repair. Good sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins.

Don’t forget to hydrate. Dehydration can negatively impact performance. Aim to drink water consistently throughout the day and include a final glass of water 1-2 hours before exercising.

  • Example Pre-Workout Meals:
    • Whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana.
    • Greek yogurt with berries and a sprinkle of granola.
    • Grilled chicken or tofu with quinoa and roasted vegetables.

Post-Workout Nutrition:

After a workout, your body needs replenishment to kickstart recovery and maximize the benefits of your efforts. Here’s what to focus on for post-workout nutrition:

Aim to eat a post-workout meal or snack within 30 minutes to an hour after exercising to replenish glycogen stores and support muscle recovery.

Include a source of high-quality protein to aid muscle repair and growth. Options like whey protein, eggs, poultry, fish, or plant-based proteins are excellent choices.

Replenish glycogen stores with carbohydrates. Choose complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa to provide a steady release of energy.

Rehydrate by drinking water to replace fluids lost during exercise. Consider including electrolyte-rich beverages, especially if the workout was intense or in hot conditions.

  • Example Post-Workout Meals:
    • Protein smoothie with whey protein, banana, and almond milk.
    • Grilled salmon or tofu with sweet potato and steamed broccoli.
    • Quinoa bowl with mixed vegetables and grilled chicken.

Additional Tips:

Listen to Your Body:
Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Everyone’s nutritional needs are unique, so adjust portion sizes and nutrient ratios based on your individual requirements.

Experiment and Adjust:
Nutritional needs can vary depending on the type, duration, and intensity of your workouts.

Experiment with different foods and timing to find what works best for you, and be open to adjustments.

Whole Foods First:
Prioritise whole, nutrient-dense foods over supplements. While supplements can be beneficial, whole foods provide a broad spectrum of nutrients that contribute to overall health.

Consult with a Professional:
If you have specific fitness or nutrition goals, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or nutritionist. They can provide personalised guidance based on your individual needs and preferences.


Optimal nutrition before and after workouts is a key component of a successful fitness regimen. By fueling your body with the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and hydration, you enhance your performance, support recovery, and maximise the benefits of your hard work. Remember, knowing what to eat before and after workouts is a crucial part of your overall well-being, and finding the right fuel for your body ensures that you’re on the right track to achieving your fitness goals.

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