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Pre and Post-Workout Nutrition Tips for Optimal Results

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Exercise is crucial whether you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health. However, it doesn’t matter how much you work out daily if you don’t combine this with a healthy diet. You should never underestimate the importance of proper nutrition. What and when you eat is essential for achieving your fitness goals. The right meal at the right time will enable you to push through the workout, get better results, and help your body recover faster afterward. So, look at these pre and post-workout nutrition tips for optimal results.

Woman eating fruits
Use these workout nutrition tips for optimal results.

No. 1 One of the best workout nutrition tips for optimal results is to never skip breakfast

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be tempted to cut back on some of your daily meals. However, this is a big mistake. It’s not healthy or efficient. If you starve yourself, you won’t have enough energy to complete your workouts. Moreover, you can feel lightheaded and even faint.

Now, out of all your daily meals, you should never skip breakfast. Eating well in the morning will give you an energy boost that will keep you up and running all day. A healthy breakfast can include bananas, yogurt, whole-grain cereals, and low-fat milk. Nevertheless, if you also plan on exercising in the morning, ensure you don’t overeat an hour before your workout. Otherwise, you might feel sick.

A healthy breakfast including yogurt, bananas, and strawberries.
A healthy breakfast with yogurt and bananas boost energy levels.

No. 2 Eat healthy snacks

One of the best workout nutrition tips for optimal results is to include healthy snacks in your diet. As mentioned, you need to eat to have enough energy for your workouts. Now, if you plan to exercise several hours after a meal, you’ll need a snack beforehand. At the same time, if you want to exercise for more than an hour at a time, you’ll likely have to eat a snack during your workout.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should eat an entire bag of chips or a chocolate bar before or during your workout. Instead, you should make healthy snack choices. Remember that such good habits will bring you happiness and keep you healthy. Your snacks can include a peanut butter sandwich, a low-fat granola bar, whole-grain crackers, fresh fruit, or a fruit smoothie.

A person holding an apple in their hand.
One of the best workout nutrition tips for optimal results is to eat healthy snacks, like an apple.

No. 3 Pay attention to the portions

While eating well throughout the day is essential to keep your energy levels up, you should pay attention to the portions. You should eat small and frequent meals to stay healthy and even lose weight. This also helps you get the most out of your workouts. Because just like you can’t exercise on an empty stomach, you can’t do it on a full belly. However, if you prefer to stick to large meals, eat them 3-4 hours before your workout.

No. 4 Don’t forget to eat after you work out

Many people are under the false impression that eating after a workout defeats the purpose of exercising. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you exercise, you drain your body of energy. Therefore, you have to eat afterward to refuel and recover. And you should never underestimate the importance of recovery in your fitness journey.

Firstly, you should eat something immediately after you work out to avoid feeling lightheaded. You can choose a protein bar, yogurt, or a homemade smoothie. Just keep it light. Then, after 1-2 hours, you can enjoy a larger and more nourishing meal that will help your body recover. But be careful not to overeat. The fact that you worked out earlier doesn’t mean you can eat however much you want.

No. 5 Include protein, carbohydrates, and fats in your meals

You must include protein, carbohydrates, and fats in your meals to maximize your workout performance and get the best results. This applies to both pre and post-workout meals.

  • Protein helps with muscle growth, recovery, and repair. You can find it in seeds, nuts, Greek yogurt, and eggs. However, you can also opt for protein bars and powders.

  • Carbohydrates are essential for maximizing performance and refueling your body. Therefore, you should ingest them both before and after your workout. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are some of the best sources of carbohydrates.

  • Fats are beneficial if consumed in limited amounts. They help restore your energy levels and enable your body to absorb nutrients better. Just make sure that you eat healthy fats. You’ll find them in seeds, fish, and vegetable oils.

No. 6 Good hydration is key

Staying hydrated throughout the day is essential for your well-being and getting the best from your workouts. Furthermore, when you exercise, you lose lots of fluids. Thus, you must hydrate before, during, and after your workouts. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol because they don’t hydrate you and affect your body weight. Always remember that water is your best friend. As for sports drinks, you can use them for long endurance-type workouts. However, water is always better.

A woman drinking water next to her bike.
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

No. 7 Keep up the good work even when you travel

If your job requires you to travel a lot, don’t use this as an excuse to skip workouts and eat unhealthily. You must keep up the good work even when traveling if you want optimal results. This means you should pack up your equipment and take it with you. Of course, if you’re not staying in one place for too long, you should leave the heavy equipment at home. Instead, you can pack lighter sports equipment, such as a yoga mat and gym accessories.

Pre and post-workout nutrition tips for optimal results...

You must combine exercise with a proper diet to live a healthy life. However, to take things to the next level, you should apply these pre and post-workout nutrition tips for optimal results. As you’ve seen, what you eat before, during, and after exercise can boost your energy levels and performance and help your body recover faster.


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