Fitness Fuel: What to Eat Before, During & After Your Workout

26th November 2018

You’ve just finished your workout and you know you need to eat something. But what?

Workout nutrition may seem rather complicated but it doesn’t have to be.


Here’s the latest on how to fuel your body before, during and after your workout so you can improve your performance, maximise recovery – and feel better!


Fuel your machine


You’d never head out on a long road trip without filling your car with petrol, right?!


Skipping your pre- workout fuel is the equivalent of hitting the road with an empty fuel tank. You may get off to a good start, but you’ll likely be running on fumes in no time.


When you feed your body with the right nutrients before your workout, you’ll be able to lift more, run longer & faster, and speed up the benefits of exercise . Plus you’ll feel so much better doing it!


So, what should you be eating Pre-workout?


Since our body’s preferred energy source is carbohydrates, your pre-workout fuel should be higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein and fat.


Protein and fat are harder for our body to digest, and this uses up extra energy that we could be putting toward our workout.


Aim to eat about an hour before your workout to give your body time to digest and absorb the nutrients.



Here are a few Pre-Workout options that work well for pre-strength or pre-cardio workouts:

Sports Drinks or Water?


Just plain water will do the trick during your workout.


Also, i would advise you should avoid sports drinks as they are full of sugar.


What to Eat after a Cardio Session


It is still recommended that you eat your post-cardio snack 30-60 minutes after finishing up.


However, you’ll be using more carbohydrate stores during a sweaty cardio workout (think running or spinning).


Try one of these snacks after your next cardio workout to replenish your carbohydrate stores (glycogen) used and to help you recover faster:

What to Eat After Strength Training or Lifting Weights


Once you finish that last rep, pat yourself on the back and then fuel up on the protein!


Aim to eat within 30-60 minutes post workout to help your body recovery and to build those muscles you’ve been working so hard for.


Here are a few examples of a balanced “post-lifting” meal:

You’ll also love this delicious smoothie – packed with protein, fibre and the anti-inflammatory benefits of tart cherries!




Mixed Berry Recovery Smoothie


300ml of coconut water

2 handful of  frozen Berries (frozen will have a thicker consistency)

1-2 tbsp of chia seeds

1 handful of greens (spinach or baby kale work well here, i use a frozen spinach cube )


Blend, enjoy and watch those muscles grow!




LiveStrong: Post Workout Carb-Protein Ratio


The Washington Post: The Best Way To Eat Before & After Exercise Sports Drinks Unnecessary, Counterproductive For Most People