What to eat before and after workout?

The one among the foremost common queries that you would ask your Fitness trainer or any health professional would be- “What To Eat Before And After Workout?”.

Figuring out what to eat before and after a workout can be such a struggle, but it’s worth finding. The answer to this question depends more on the athlete’s goals and the specific activity like Exercise, walking, and running. 

Smartly timed snacks can give the body the fuel and other nutrients it needs to workout out with more intensity, build muscle, burn fat, and recover as best it can.

Whether it is Fat loss or weight gain, Pre and post-workout foods are essential in order to maintain the glucose concentration in the body. 

It helps in enhancing the performance and speeds up the recovery time. The athletes or people who work out regularly should drink plenty of water and other fluids pre-workout, Intra workout and post-workout to maintain the loss of fluid and electrolytes from the body.

In this article, along with What to eat before and after workout, I’ll also tell you some of my favourite workout meals.

What To Eat Before And After Workout


Why the pre-workout meal is important?

Having your meal 45 minutes to 3 hours prior to workouts will not only help you maximize your performance but also minimize muscle damage.

What to eat before workout?

Firstly, Knowing what to eat is more important. Fueling your body with the proper nutrients prior to exercise will give you the energy and the strength you need to perform better in your Workouts.

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Your body needs two things:
1. Carbs, for energy.
2. Protein, to supply required amino acids for your muscles and to prevent muscle damage during Workouts.

What To Eat Before And After Workout

As a general guideline, a perfect pre-workout meal should contain: Carbs – 0.25 to 0.4 grams per pound of your body weight. Consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis.

Perfect time to have a pre-workout meal:

As a general rule of thumb, it is better not to eat under 20 minutes before a workout because while you are working out, your stomach is trying to simultaneously digest the food in your stomach. 

With this, you cannot give your optimal performance. And, moreover, eating just before a workout session may cause you to experience some GI discomfort while you workout. Depending on how your body tolerates food, you should fuel your body about 45 minutes to 3 hours prior to Workouts.

Some of my favourite pre-workout foods:

  • Oatmeal with milk and fruit.
  • Brown bread and peanut butter.
  • Handful of nuts and raisins.
  • Apple and Peanut Butter.
  • Banana and peanut butter.
  • Bananas and egg whites.
  • Brown bread and egg whites.
  • Rice cakes with peanut butter.

NOTE: If you have less than an hour, have Pre-workout foods that are easily digestible.


Why the post-workout meal is important?

Post-workout nutrition is more complex than pre-workout nutrition. Its purpose is to supply your body with everything it needs to repair, replenish, recover your muscles.

What to eat after a workout?

Same as the pre-workout meal, Your body needs two things:
1. Carbs, to replenish the depleted glycogen levels.
2. Protein, to supply required amino acids for your muscles.

Post workout meal

Consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) will replenish glycogen levels and muscle protein synthesis. If you exercise for 60 minutes or less, water is all you need to stay hydrated.

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Perfect time to have a post-workout meal:

Most preferably, within the first 60 minutes after your workout, or even better, within the first 30 minutes. You may even ask, why time is the essence? 

If your body is fully exhausted all reserves during the workout, it will resort to breaking down muscle in order to fuel itself. Also, muscle recovery only takes place when there is plenty of energy available.

Some of my favourite post-workout foods:

  • Eggs are the best and easily digestable protein source.
  • Egg whites and sweet potato.
  • Egg whites and banana or apple.
  • Whey protein and banana shake.
  • Chicken.
  • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana, and almonds.
  • Spinach and egg whites.
  • Whey protein and spinach smoothie.
  • Cooked rice and eggs.

I hope this article(What to eat before and after workout) is helpful for you.

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Mujja Saikumar, founder of The Muscly Advisor is an Aeronautical engineering graduate formed an obsession with fitness and helping people to clear all the health and fitness-related doubts through Blogs, videos, and social media. Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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