Best Foods to Eat Before and After Workout

  • November 21, 2019
What is the Best Foods to Eat Before and After Workout

Keeping your engine running when working out is crucial. What you eat before and after a workout is vital in ensuring your body has the necessary fuel it needs when going through rigorous activities. You will be using muscles and expending energy that’ll likely make you feel tired and achy all over. It’s a big part of getting the best out of your workout to eat better, which we’ll help you figure out.

What are the best foods to eat before and after a workout? There are no hard-and-fast rules about which foods are the best before and after an exercise. But there are certainly some foods that are better than others. Most important of all is that you consume enough food and fluid to maintain your blood glucose concentration, maximize your performance, and boost your recovery time.

It can be a struggle to find the right foods to eat before and after a routine exercise. But it’s worth it when you consume foods that you enjoy and help you reach your fitness goals. If you want to support your workout, we suggest adding the foods in our list in your diet.

What Foods to Eat Before Workout

If you skip your food in the morning before exercise, your energy will be lacking. Your body is your machine, and without food as its fuel, you can expect that your performance won’t be any good. Understandably, sometimes you won’t have the time or the desire to eat before you exercise. Even though it’s recommended, you cannot force yourself to eat if you can’t.

Eating before exercise is crucial at getting the most out of your workout. If you don’t, you will likely experience symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, or lethargy. With these symptoms, you will also probably end up injuring yourself. You don’t want that to happen, so it is advised to eat healthily before your workout.

But the truth is it’s okay to work out even if you hadn’t eaten yet. That’s unless you have medical conditions that say you can’t exercise if your stomach is empty. It would be great if you can fuel up before, but it’s okay if you couldn’t. What you can’t forget to do, however, is to drink fluids. You must drink plenty of water before, during, and after the workout.

Best Pre-Workout Foods

Try these five best pre-workout foods to fuel yourself before an intense workout:

  • Oats, Blueberries, Butter, and Chia Seeds

Oats are rich in fiber and have vitamin B for consistent energy during exercise. When combined with butter, blueberries, and chia seeds, you have a food combination capable of providing you with sustained energy throughout longer workouts.

  • Banana, Honey, and Peanut Butter

Bananas are excellent pre-workout food because they are jam-packed with potassium and carbohydrates. Together with bananas, a serving of peanut butter or other nut butter and a drizzle of honey can release steady, but slow levels of glucose in your bloodstream. It will serve as excellent fuel for your workout.

  • Yogurt with Granola and Berries

A combination of Greek and fruit yogurt has lots of carbohydrates and protein. You can also add granola and berries to the mix to take advantage of quick-digesting carbs. With Greek yogurt, you get just enough protein for a little less muscle breakdown while working out.

  • Dried Apricots and Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

This combination provides an excellent mix of protein and carbs that are low in fiber and fat. Cottage cheese serves an excellent snack or breakfast food as it has abundant amounts of whey protein and casein. With casein, your muscles have fuel for hours, not to mention it helps them recover quickly.

  • Whole-Fruit Smoothie

What’s good about fruits is you get simple sugars, which are easy to digest. If you are doing highly intense workouts, they are the best source of energy for you. It’s also nice that you have plenty of smoothie recipes to try using fruits and other ingredients that can help fuel your workout.

What Foods to Eat After Workout

While it is okay to not eat before a workout, you must eat when you are done. You need to eat after an exercise routine to replace the calories you spent. Besides calories, your glycogen levels would have been used up as well. You need to replenish both by eating the right kinds of food. Eating after a workout will also ensure you get the necessary nutrients to boost your recovery.

When you exercise, you also lose water by sweating, and that’s not good. The water that you sweat contains electrolytes, which you need so that your neurons work correctly. You won’t be able to think straight after a workout, likely feeling dizzy, if you don’t eat foods rich in electrolytes. Your muscles would have been spent as well, which you can recover quickly by eating foods with lots of protein.

From feeling tired and then experiencing low blood sugar, the effects of not eating after a workout is not a good feeling. At this stage, your body is still repairing itself, and eating healthy foods is one way you can boost your recovery. It is your choice whether to eat after a workout or not, but if you continually skip it, you could end up wasting all your effort into getting fit.

Best Post-Workout Foods

To help you make the most of your fitness routine, here are 5 of the best post-workout foods to try:

  • Yogurt and Fresh Berries

With low-fat yogurt, you can get almost 15 grams of protein. That makes it an excellent post-workout snack that will give you back the energy you spent. If you mixed it with fresh berries, you could also add carbs to the protein to drive you throughout the day.

  • Oatmeal and Banana

Banana is an excellent after-workout food as it helps curve your sugar cravings and has good kinds of carbs. Eating it once you are done exercising is sure to help restore your glycogen levels and rebuild your damaged muscles. When combined with oatmeal, you have protein to help with muscle recovery.

  • Tuna Salad Sandwich

A tuna salad sandwich is a simple post-gym food that's both tasty and nutritious. With this, you have the nutrients to help increase your blood sugar and recover your muscle as well. It has an excellent combination of protein and carbs necessary for refilling your spent energy after exercise.

  • Ricer Crackers with Peanut Butter

If you like to eat more substantial food after a workout, rice crackers and peanut butter fit the bill. Rice crackers are an excellent substitute to bread as it provides extra fiber but don’t have empty carbs. You can also add a banana in the combination, which is perfect for replenishing your lost energy.

  • Cottage Cheese and Fruits

This combination is great for replenishing you depleted calcium, protein, and magnesium thanks to cottage cheese. It also has high water content, which is excellent for filling the fluids you lost after the workout. Add some best fruits to eat after a workout such as berries for added benefits.

Final Thoughts

Eating before and after an exercise is one part of the daily fitness routine you can’t ignore. While it’s okay not to eat pre-workout if you can’t or don’t want to, don’t forget to eat after. Otherwise, you can compromise the benefits you have been building up by exercising. More importantly, don’t forget to drink lots of fluids. These are only guidelines, but they will help you a lot to make the most of your workout.