What To Eat Before And After Your Workout To Stay In Top Training Shape

What To Eat Before And After Your Workout To Stay In Top Training Shape

The foods you eat before and after a good workout, and the fluids you drink during your workout go a long way towards making sure your exercise has the best impact on your health as possible. Whether you’re staying hydrated with a bottle of water while you’re out on a run, or debating what to munch on for a little post-workout energy, Eating Well magazine has some tips to help maximise your workout and keep you satisfied in the process.

First of all, they mention — as we do in our exercise myths post — that water is probably your best bet during exercise to stay hydrated, even over something like a sports energy drink that could be loaded with sugar and calories. They suggest adding a little flavour to your water to keep things interesting — maybe with a little lemon, lime or cucumber — and note that people who drink flavoured water tend to drink more during their workouts than people with straight water do.

They suggest a nice, low–index meal (food that causes your blood sugar to spike less after eating) before you start your exercise, like those higher in protein and fibre rather than complex carbohydrates. After your workout, a tall glass of milk (or even chocolate milk) is a great way to recover, or even a banana or peanut butter.

We’ve tackled the topic of what to eat before and after your workout before, but this piece addresses the importance of protein in your diet, and asserts that cars are better after your workout, not before. What do you think? What do you eat before and after your workouts, and what do you prefer to drink while you work out? Share your experiences in the comments below.

The Best Fitness Foods: What to Eat Before, During, and After a Workout [Eating Well]

Photo by malouette (Shutterstock).


  • Before I do cardio, I do not eat anything as its best to run on an empty stomach. If its weight training, I would eat something high in carbs/protein. Post workout, I have a shake which is a combination of water, protein powder, and something high in carbs such as bread or oats.

  • Eating before exercise is different for everyone, especially high-impact cardio like running. If I run on an empty stomach, I get so dizzy I have to stop and sit down frequently throughout the run before I pass out. As long as I have a little something first, even half a banana, I’m fine. I have other running friends that can’t eat anything at all before they run, or they experience digestive … errr… “issues”. It’s whatever works for you.

  • I will do running or something that jostles me around on an empty stomach or after eating a few hours prior. When I weight train I tend to have a protein shake (purely because I work out after work and by then I am a bit hungry anyway). During my workouts I drink straight water. After a weight session I have a protein shake (I have all my shakes with straight water), some calcium supplements and then start to cook my dinner which is usually baked chicken breasts, potatoes and green veges of some sort.

  • I do not prefer to eat anything for at least 90 mins before a run. After the run I usually drink a glass-spoonful of Spirulina (super green) in plain water. That has worked well so far.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!