What to Eat Before & After a Workout

This is a question I get asked a lot!  What should I eat before and after a workout?!  You also need to make sure you’re fueling your body properly for your workout and to give you the maximum results you’re looking for.

We’ve all been there.

If you’re an afternoon exerciser, you may go all day on the run–skipping lunch, or even worse not eating anything at all–then attempt to workout but totally run out of gas mid workout, exhausted and unable to finish.

If you’re a morning exerciser, your clothes are laid out and ready for your run or workout, but you try to go at it on an empty stomach and bam, you crash again.  While some do great and actually prefer cardio on an empty stomach, I prefer to have a bit of energy stored up for the workout

BEFORE your workout:

30 minute cardio
You could actually get away without eating anything before a 30 minute cardio, but if not, you’ll need a quicker digesting energy source such as:

fresh fruit (apples and bananas are higher sugar-quicker energy)
dried fruit
30+ minute cardio
If you’re going to go longer than a 30 minutes such as a longer run, you’re going to need some quick digesting energy and some longer digesting energy (other carbohydrates) to sustain you for the longer workout or run.
Examples include:

fresh fruit
dried fruit and nut mixes
peanut butter toast
yogurt (if it’s not upsetting to your stomach)
granola bar
oatmeal with fresh fruit.
Strength/Weight Training
You’ll need both quick and long digesting energy (good carb sources), but you’ll also need to add extra protein such as boiled eggs before your workout to fuel those muscles that will be working in overdrive.

AFTER your workout:

After the workout is all about re-fueling!  It’s best to eat within 30 minutes of your workout for the best results in feeding those muscles you’ve just torn down and replacing the all the energy you’ve used.  Your muscles are hungry and they need to eat!

I always recommend a protein shake with fresh fruit after a workout (my favorite is this TLS Whey Shake).  It’s quicker digesting and those muscles will really soak up all that goodness.  Don’t be afraid of the sugar here either as that sugar helps to move that protein into the muscles and you’ll also need that sugar to replace your energy stores.

After a protein shake, you can then enjoy a full meal that includes:

good sources of lean protein (eggs, fish, poultry)
higher fiber, nutrient-dense carb sources such as quinoa, wild rice or sweet potatoes
cottage cheese is also a great after workout source providing casein whey which is a faster digesting protein


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