What Should You Eat Before and After Working Out?

What Should You Eat Before and After Working Out?

What Should You Eat Before and After Working Out?

Lee esto en EspañolWhat you eat matters when it comes to starting or ending a workout right. It’s like fueling a car.

It’s important to have the right foods at the right times. Have a snack or meal one to three hours before you work out. And drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.

Before working out, try a snack like:

  • Trail mix.
  • A bowl of high-fiber oatmeal with fruit and low-fat milk.
  • A fruit and yogurt smoothie. Bananas are a good pre-workout add-in.

Some after workout options include:

  • Eggs and whole wheat toast.
  • Greek yogurt with fruit.
  • Turkey, salmon or chicken with some vegetables. Try a wrap.

Just watch your portion size. If you plan to exercise within an hour after eating, have a very light meal or just a sports drink. Don’t try something you don’t usually eat.

If your workout lasts more than 60 minutes, think about having a healthy snack during your workout. That could be fruit, yogurt or an energy bar.

Afterward, have both carbohydrates and protein within two hours, if possible. That could be a recovery smoothie, chocolate milk or peanut butter sandwich.

And think about keeping a journal to track how you feel after eating different meals and snacks before and after working out.

Sources: What to Eat Before and After a Workout, leaving site icon  WebMD, 2023; Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts, leaving site icon  Mayo Clinic, 2023

Originally published 3/29/2021; Revised 2024