What To Eat Before and After Your Workout

Fueling Your Body Is Important!

Properly fueling your body before a workout is very important for your safety, as well as for reaching your fitness goals. According to Jessica Jones, MS, RD, not eating enough before a workout can cause you to feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated, or lethargic, which can lead to an injury. Re-fueling your body is just as important because it helps your body fully recover and grow stronger. For the best results, be sure to read labels and choose options with the least amount of added sugar. Adding to that, it is also crucial to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

Pre-Workout Snacks

Before your workout, focus on eating simple carbs and protein. When eaten, carbs break down into glucose, enter our muscle cells, and give us fuel to exercise at our maximum capacity. Protein is always a good idea regardless of your workout plans, but especially if you plan on doing weight training. Strength training exercises create small tears in muscle fibers, and your body needs protein in order to repair those microfibers and build up muscle strength. Ideally you want to eat a snack 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. Here is a list of pre-wrokout snacks Jones recommends:

  • greek yogurt
  • a granola/protein bar
  • toast or an apple with peanut butter
  • a handful of nuts
  • a hard boiled egg

Post-Workout Snacks

Replenishing the glycogen and electrolytes that were lost during your workout is crucial to recovery. Regularly skipping a healthy snack or meal after your workouts could lead to fatigue and low blood sugar. Jones recommends eating complex carbs and a healthy amount of protein within 30 minutes of finishing a workout. Here are a few things she recommends:

  • quinoa
  • brown rice
  • whole wheat bread
  • nuts
  • fish
  • beans
  • tofu

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