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What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Q & A

Eating the right food before and after exercise can boost your results. Your body is like a car- but instead of using gas as fuel, it burns carbohydrates while training. To achieve great performance at the gym, and to rebuild your muscle after the workout, it is important to give your body the right food.

Eating Before a Workout

Why is it necessary to eat before working out?

  • to avoid being dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated or lethargic
  • to protect yourself from easy injuries
  • to maximize your performance
  • to improve recovery time after each workout

When is the best time to eat before working out?

From 30minutes – 2 hours before your workout.

What food should be part of my pre-workout meals?

You need these in your diet:

  • Whole grain toast, peanut or almond butter and banana slices
    • Banana: full of simple carbs, natural sugar and potassium; helps prevent muscle cramps.
    • Peanut or almond butter: good sugar
    • Toast: full of blood-sugar-steadying complex carbs
  • Scrambled eggs, veggies and avocado
    • Eggs: high-quality protein. The yolk is full of amino acids which boost muscle building and recovery. 
    • Avocado: healthy fat fix
    • Veggies: nutrient-rich powerhouses
  • Protein smoothie:
    • protein powder or milk/almond milk with bananas, peanut butter, avocado
    • Fast-digesting carbs plus healthy fats and protein
  • Oatmeal, protein powder and blueberries
    • Oatmeal: full of complex carbs
    • Fruit like blueberries/raspberries: contain a lot of antioxidants that prevent cell damage.

You need to avoid:

  • fibre filled foods like wholegrain bread, whole-wheat pasta and oats as they take longer for the body to digest.
  • fizzy drinks 
  • spicy foods that can lead to increased cramping.
  • cruciferous vegetables: high in raffinose, it can provoke abdominal bloating and excessive gas.

Eating After a Workout

Why is it necessary to eat after working out?

  • to repair your muscles that are depleted of their glycogen stores and broken down
  • to keep your metabolism burning strong

When is the best time to eat after working out?

The sooner you start refuelling, the better; from 20 to 60 minutes after workout. 

What food should be part of my post-workout meals?

You need these in your diet:

  • Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables
  • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast
  • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana and almonds
  • Cottage cheese and fruits
  • Pita and hummus
  • Greek yogurt, berries and granola

You need to avoid :

  • processed energy bars especially those which contain artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame), refined sugar
  • refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta or flour products
  • fried foods that can often contain harmful trans-fats