What to Eat Before & After Exercise?

by | May 24, 2022

Don’t know what to eat before & after exercise?  I got you!  And good news… it doesn’t have to be complicated & you don’t need a special product or powder to get you there!  So, if you are sick of sluggish workouts & want to figure out what to eat after a good sweat sesh… keep reading.


The first thing you need to figure out is how much time you have before your exercise session… with that info, you can then plan WHAT & HOW MUCH to eat.

If your workout is in ~2 hours, choose food HIGH in carbohydrates & MODERATE in protein.  Remember, carbs are the FUEL for your muscles… the harder you work, the more carbs you’ll need to keep going. Many ideas can fit into this category, but some of my faves include:

  • PB&J sandwich
  • Greek yogurt with fruit & granola
  • Hard-boiled egg with fruit
  • Tuna pouch with crackers
  • Bagel with PB
  • Oatmeal with low-fat milk & fruit

If you plan to chow ~30 minutes before you exercise, stick with a simple carbohydrate. Once again, those quick carbs will help fuel the muscles to keep you going without weighing you down. Some ideas include:

  • Raisins
  • Applesauce pouch
  • Handful of crackers or pretzels
  • Small banana
  • 2 cutie oranges
  • Piece of toast



The main thing here is that you want to eat within an hour of finishing your workout.  Choose food HIGH in carbohydrates & MODERATE to HIGH in protein.  Remember, your body used stored carbs in your muscles to power through your workout, so now you must replenish those carbs PLUS consume protein to help your tired muscle rebuild & repair! Many ideas can fit into this category, but some of my faves include:

  • PB&J sandwich with low-fat milk
  • Greek yogurt with fruit & granola
  • Turkey & hummus wrap with veggies
  • Protein smoothie with fruit & veggies
  • Egg omelet with veggies & feta cheese
  • Whatever is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner


Good news, if one of your regular meals falls within 60 minutes after exercising, just consume that! But, make sure that meal has a balance of your essential carbs & protein too!  If you need tips on protein powders to add into some of these meal & snack ideas, check them out here!

So, depending on when you workout, your schedule & your personal preferences, experiment to see what works best for you & makes you FEEL the best too!

Use this process for both pre- & post-workout fuel to make each & every day amazing!  You’ll never have to worry about what to eat before & after exercise again!

What’s YOUR favorite ways to fuel up before & after working out?!

And, if you’re not already a part of Nicole’s Nutrition Community on Facebook, get there!  Lots of additional trainings, education, tips, & support just for you!

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