What to eat before a workout

by Andrea Hageman, Beaumont dietitian

What To Eat Before A WorkoutHave you ever wondered if what you are eating is affecting your workout? With all the advertisements about sports bars, protein powders and protein drinks, do you wonder if it is really necessary? Or is eating a healthy well-balanced diet enough?

Just as you would fuel up your car before a road trip, your body needs the right fuel to perform at its best. What you eat before and after your workout can affect your performance whether you are a marathon runner, student athlete or someone who likes to workout at the local gym.

Here are just a few suggestions for the right foods to eat before your workout:

Pre-workout snack ideas:

  1. Half of a sandwich (turkey, tuna, chicken)
  2. Whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese
  3. Smoothies – such as skim milk, fruit and yogurt blended together

Post-exercise meal ideas:

  1. Vegetable omelet
  2. Chicken stir fry with vegetables and brown rice
  3. Oatmeal with strawberries and milk

Healthy eating for an athlete does not have to be complicated, but is about eating the right kinds of food at the right times. Making unhealthy food choices such as a high fat meal right before hitting the gym can cut your workout short by slowing you down and making you feel nauseous. On the other hand, eating a higher carbohydrate meal or snack that is moderate in protein and lower in fat before working out can improve your performance. Learn how to make the most of your workout by choosing the right foods to fuel your body and stay healthy.

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4 thoughts on “What to eat before a workout

  1. Diane Cary says:

    Awesome! Thanks for this! 🙂

  2. Ryanne Diggs says:

    Thank You! This helped me to avoid certain foods before I workout. Thank You! 🙂

  3. D. Blackburn says:

    Post-workout Meal: I always thought that a fast-digesting protein (such as whey protein) should be consumed just after a work-out to help recover and build muscle, and you should avoid milk as it will slows down digestion.

    • Protein is important after a workout to help build muscles, but the body does not care what type of protein it is. Eating lean sources of meat such as chicken or fish is just as effective as a scoop of protein powder. Unless a person is lactose intolerant, milk is actually another great choice after a workout. In fact, college and professional athletes will drink low-fat chocolate milk after working out as it has a great combination of both carbohydrate and protein needed for muscle recovery. – Andrea

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