What to Eat Before and After a Workout

What to Eat Before and After a Workout
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Being thoughtful about what to eat before and after a workout will maximize the benefits of all the hard work you do at the gym. Indeed, after exercise, refueling gives your body the need to recover from exertion and helps in building bigger, stronger muscles. The foods you choose for your diet will also help you to attain your fitness goals.

What to eat before and after a workout

If you do not follow a proper diet, it can create a negative impact on your performance and reduce your gains where you are more likely to injure yourself. Here is how you ought to plan what to eat before and after a workout.

What to eat before a workout?

It is essential to know what to eat before and after a workout. Munching something before exercise provides your body with energy as you need enough power throughout the entire workout session.

Having an ideal time for a pre-workout snack

You should be cautious to keep an ideal time based on what to eat before and after a workout. Eating before a workout, say 30 minutes or three hours before taking a small snack or mini-breakfast. 

When you hit the gym, you cannot have a whole meal before the workout. Having a healthy snack with helpful calories can be replaced instead.

Consuming plenty of water

Keep your body hydrated by having enough water before heading to the gym. You have to notice the color of your urine every morning because lemonade-colored urine can be a sign of appropriate hydration and dark-colored urine indicates H20 deficit. 

You can have 2-3 cups of water before exercise without drinking too much water. Also, during regular intervals for every 15 to 30 minutes, drinking one cup of water is a good thing.

Include your pre-workout snack with carbs

Take carbs like granola bars, oatmeal, a piece of fruit, rice cake, a piece of toast to boost your energy because they break down into glucose and add fuel for your workouts at the maximum capacity. 

As glucose enters the muscle cells, it stores glucose in the form of glycogen where you feel energized and replenished as you have extra glucose while you perform the exercise. If not, you will get exhausted and will be tempted to quit or take a quick nap.

What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Ensure to have protein

Make sure to have a pre-workout snack that has protein especially when you are doing weight training. During the strength training exercises, you will have to lift heavy weights which can create a small tear in the muscle fibers. 

To regain strength, making the muscles bigger and stronger protein is a must to do it. You can include nuts, yogurt, boiled egg, a glass of milk, or soy milk but do not eat too much as it can upset your stomach halfway through your workout.

Pre-workout snacks

  • A smoothie with one cup of fresh fruit and two cups of boiled vegetables 
  • An apple or pear with nut butter
  • Greek yogurt with berries and granola
  • Rice cakes which has to be topped with nut butter
  • Dried fruit with mixed nuts
  • A granola bar
  • Oatmeal with fruit and peanut butter
  • Baked salmon, roasted veggies and brown rice

What to eat after a workout?

Firstly, eating after a workout is nothing but replacing the calories you used up. It is important to replenish the glycogen that gets depleted during your workout. 

Secondly, eating protein after a workout helps in speedy muscle recovery, particularly after weight training as the food contains electrolytes, the minerals that your neurons need to fire properly which you lose when you sweat.

Rehydrate yourself

Replenish the fluids you have lost while sweating by eating right away. Don’t stop drinking just because exercise depends on many factors, like the environmental conditions, length and intensity of the exercise, and your individual physiology. 

Drinking 16 ounces of fluid or water for every pound you’ve lost matters a lot else you will end up fatigued and battling low blood sugar

Ensure to eat something soon.

If you have worked out really hard, your body uses up the energy where it needs to function at max capacity. If you cannot eat a full meal right away ensure to have a snack after your training, then later a full meal after a few hours would be great.

Refuel with protein and carbs.

You would have blown through the glycogen and torn up your muscles post-workout. Ensure to have your post-workout meal with high complex carbohydrates like quinoa, nuts, brown rice and whole wheat bread which can break down slowly, and also you will be loaded with healthy protein that include Tofu, beans, and fish.

Post-workout snacks and meals.


  • 1 glass of chocolate milk
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread toast with ½ sliced banana and 1 tsp. of peanut butter
  • 1 – 2 boiled eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast.
  • 2-gram crackers with 1 tsp of peanut butter


  • A protein-rich green smoothie
  • A veggie omelet with avocado along with ½ bowl of roasted potatoes
  • A 7-inch Whole wheat pizza with grilled veggies and 2 tsp hummus
  • 4 ounces of steamed trout with sauteed spinach and a baked sweet potato.

The beauty of what to eat before and after a workout for everyone’s body is different depending on their specific needs and preferences. But do not forget to fill your plate with protein as it is important for strength training.

Read also Keto Diet for Indians.

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