Last Updated on September 4, 2019 by Viky Unterberg
Your dream body is made in the kitchen.
Some persons might disagree on that statement but here is a reality check.
If you’re under any type fitness regime and not paying attention to what you eat before and after a workout then you’re missing out on massive results!
Your body solely depends on good nutrition to help it perform better and recover after each session.
Whenever you eat the right types of foods your body will be able to maximize its performance and repair muscle damage.
The tricky part is picking the right foods that will fuel your body with the proper nutrients and energy to perform at its peak.
After reading this post you will know the ultimate types of foods to eat before and after a workout session.
So before we dive in, you must know the 3 main macronutrients that are extremely important.
Even though it’s a commonly known nutrient, you would be surprise how a lot of people forget to include it in their before and after meals.
There are many studies to prove that this nutrient helps to improve your performance and build muscles.
Whenever you consume protein before your workout it increases muscle synthesis.
That’s just a fancy term for muscle growth.
So whether you want to build your butt or thigh muscles, you must make it a point of duty to consume protein.
- Increases muscle strength and lean body mass
- Promotes muscle repair which leads to muscle growth
- Maximizes muscle performance.
Fat gets a lot of bad press. However, without fat your body wouldn’t be able to last throughout those long and intense workout sessions.
It’s a source of fuel that propels your body when you plan to do some serious exercises.
Now don’t get this confused. You should be consuming healthy high fat foods not junk fatty foods.
Studies have shown that a diet consisting of the right amount of fat will increase energy endurance by up to 30%.
Here is a list of 8 high fat foods you should include in your diet.
The main reason why carbs are vital is because that’s where your muscles gets the glucose extracted as a energy fuel.
Your liver and muscles store glycogen which is a main source of energy. Do you ever wonder why you’re so weak and lacking endurance throughout your workouts?
It could be because you didn’t consume enough carbs before you started exercising.
Therefore, if you want more stamina in your performance then you should carb up!
How much hours should I eat before workout?
Great question! Your timing is extremely important and many person overlook that aspect.
The best time to eat before any workout session is 2-3 hours.
There can be some exceptions though, for example, you can eat 40-50 minutes before a workout provided that you’re eating foods that are easy to digest and contains mostly carbs and protein.
Doing this will help to prevent stomach aches and nausea while exercising.
What to eat before a workout
Now bear in mind that the foods and how much you eat depends on how long and intense your workout session will be.
To keep it simple, just make sure that whatever you’re eating has a mixture of protein and carbs.
Here are 12 examples of awesome easy-to-prepare pre-workout snacks that will power you up.
1. Brown rice and black beans
You can do 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1/2 cup of black beans. The brown rice will supply the carbs while the black beans provide the protein.
2. Oatbran crackers with hummus
Get 3 tablespoons of hummus and 15 multi-grain crackers and you will have a dense combo of protein and carbs. You can add some carrots for extra crunch!
3. Oatmeal with berries & ALMONDS
When preparing oatmeal, add some almonds, berries and sweeten it with almond milk. This power oatmeal mix has both carbs and protein.
4. Apple and Walnuts
This a fun tasting pre-workout snack. You can slice up the apple into small pieces and mix it with walnuts. Your very own little homemade trail mix.
5. Banana and almond butter
Take two spoons of almonds and slice the banana into coin sizes. For every banana coin bite paste some almond butter on it and enjoy!
6. Small sweet potatoes and broccoli
Just boil 3 sweet potatoes and steam the broccoli. You can lightly salt the broccoli to add some flavor.
7. Orange Protein shake (Very tasty)
Blend 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder , 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice and 1 cup of ice.
This is a very delicious and nutrient packed pre-workout snack.
8. The Choco-nut Shake
Take 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder, 2 table teaspoons of pure extra virgin coconut oil, and 1 cup of water. Blend and serve with ice.
9. Multi-grain crackers and low fat cheese
Just get a bag of whole wheat crackers and cut 2 slices of low fat cheese. This filling snack will keep you powering through your workouts.
10. Fruity Shake
Take 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup of frozen blueberries and 1 cup of water. Blend and serve chilled.
11. Greek Yogurt with berries
Get 1 cup of Greek yogurt with some raspberries to add some savory taste. This is another pre-workout snack that will give you a perfect blend of protein and carbs.
12. Peanut butter and apple
Slice up 1 apple and serve it with two tablespoons of all natural peanut butter. This quick and easy yet powerful snack will get you pumped up!
What to eat after a workout
Doing your exercises, your body will tap into the fuel storage in your muscles known as glycogen which is used for energy.
However, after you workout, your muscles will be depleted of their glycogen stores and will start to break down.
That’s why drinking or eating something that contains protein and carbs 30 minutes to an hour after your workout will refill those depleted energy stores and also build and repair your muscles that would have been broken down during the process.
This will help to keep your metabolism burning strong. The sooner you start to refuel, the better off your muscle repair process will be.
Research shows that your body’s ability to rebuild the muscles stores will decrease by at least 50% if you wait 1 to 2 hours after your workout as compared to eating right after.
That’s why it’s important for you to plan ahead and prepare your meals or shakes before you start working out.
The Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine recommends consuming protein and little carbohydrates, as they are the 2 main nutrients to consume after a workout.
Here are 9 after workout snacks that you can eat to help speed up the recovery process and maximize your workout benefits while building lean muscles that aid in weight loss.
1. Banana Protein Shake
Making the shake is very simple, all you need is half of a banana and 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder and almond milk. You can also add some hemp seeds to add some extra protein to it.
2. Roasted chickpeas salad
Just add half cup of roasted chickpeas to your salad and sprinkle it lightly with olive oil and vinegar to add flavor.
3. Quinoa fruit mix
Get 1 cup of blackberries, 1/4 cup of pecans and add them to 1 cup of quinoa. You will have a powerful protein source with the right amount of carbs.
4. Multiple grain bread and peanut butter
Get two slices of multi-grain bread and 2 tablespoons of all natural peanut butter. You can also add one spoon of agave nectar.
5. Choco-Banana Mix
You will love this very tasty yet powerful protein and carbs supplement.
You will need 4 fingers of banana, 2 scoops of dark chocolate, 1/2 cup of water and 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder.
Blend all ingredients and serve chilled.
6. Protein pancakes
Mix 3 egg whites, 1/2 cup of low fat cotton cheese, 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1/8 cup of baking powder and 1/3 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Make sure to cook on medium-low heat until it bubbles then flip and cook for another 40-60 seconds.
You can add some fresh raspberries or blueberries or even a few slices of banana.
7. LOW sugar Protein bar
If you don’t have enough time to prepare something then you can opt for a low sugar protein bar.
Now be careful because some protein bars are packed with tons of sugar. Check the label and make sure you choose a protein bar that is between 10 or 20 grams of sugar.
8. Crackers and tuna
Mix up a bowl of light tuna salad and then add some multi-grain crackers for some carbs.
9. Egg whites and bagels
All you need is half of a medium size whole-grain bagel with two egg whites and you will have a power packed post-workout protein snack.
What about supplements?
You can use some supplements that will help to enhance and maximize your performance, increase your strength, build lean body mass and reduce muscle fatigue.
It’s a very powerful workout supplement because it increases your muscle mass, muscle fiber size and also gives you strength while minimizing fatigue.
Now you can take it before your workout but it works even better if you take it after a workout. A good metric is taking 2 to 5 grams of protein per day for your workout sessions.
This amino acid helps to increase exercise performance and muscle endurance.
Taking 1-2 grams daily is good enough but you should consume at least 0.4 grams prior to your workout.
Multi-ingredient workout supplements
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a supplements that have a blend of all of the necessary nutrients? Well yes, it exists.
They normally consists of vital ingredients such as arginine, B vitamins, beta-alanine and caffeine.
All these are combined will help to increase your workout strength, reaction time, alertness and focus.
The best time to take one of these supplements is 30 to 45 minutes before workout.
Make sure to drink enough water
You can have the best workout supplements and even food but if you’re not consuming water your body will not perform at its best.
Properly hydrate your body it will sustain and even enhance your workout performance, dehydration has been linked to significant decrease in performance.
It’s time for you to try some!
It can be very overwhelming when trying to find what to eat before and after a workout.
Since you have read this post you now have some awesome ideas of snacks and smoothies that you can eat before and after your workout sessions.
This will help to maximize your performance, grow your muscles and achieve your ultimate body goals.