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Fuel Your Fitness: What to Eat Pre- and Post-Workout

Fuel Your Fitness: What to Eat Pre- and Post-Workout

What you eat before and after—even during—your workout can make a big difference in your energy levels, metabolism and, most importantly, your recovery. The right foods can help the repair process, reduce soreness, replenish glycogen stores and more. Here’s the what and when:

Pre-Workout Fuel

Before you work out, eat a simple snack (or very small meal) of complex carbs and some protein. You want to stay away from high fat or simple sugars. Remember: If you’re going to eat carbs, healthy starchy carbs, like bananas, are best to have in the morning. Also, don’t eat right before your workout! Here’s a great breakfast or snack idea:

Overnight Oats: There are recipes galore for this on the internet. Stick to Greek yogurt, a bit of honey, some berries, a scoop of nut butter, almond milk and some steel-cut oats.

Fermented Foods: Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir support the growth of healthy bacteria (probiotics) which improves nutrient absorption, metabolism and immune system function. Fermented foods also create lactic acid, and contrary to its bad rap, lactic acid is a key energy source for your muscles.

Post-Workout Fuel

After your workout, you’ll want to eat a high protein snack or meal with some complex carbohydrates
(stick to veggies). It’s also good to get some healthy fat, too, like avocado or extra virgin olive oil. Here’s
a couple great lunch or snack ideas:

Grilled Chicken with Veggies: A serving of grilled chicken with an assortment of vegetables, like zucchini, peppers, onions and sautéed in olive oil is a great post-workout meal.

Tart Cherries: While normally we’re not ones to recommend juice (too much sugar!), research has indicated that tart cherry juice is a great tool for reducing post-workout soreness.

Other Great Sources of Protein and Healthy, Complex Carbohydrates

  • Organic chicken
  • Wild-caught fish*
  • Organic, lean, grass-fed red meat
  • Organic free-range eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whey protein
  • Any vegetable
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables
  • Grapefruit
  • Oatmeal (in moderation)
  • Beans and lentils
  • Sweet potatoes
Fuel Your Fitness: What to Eat Pre- and Post-Workout

*Choose fish with low mercury levels like Freshwater Coho salmon and wild-caught Alaskan salmon

Be sure to discuss any major diet changes with your physician.

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