Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

Ever wondered what to eat before or after a workout? Our in-house Registered Dietitian and Pop’s Trainer, Kat Scheurer, divulges her secrets on how to fuel the body before and after working out.

Keeping in mind this will vary between each individual’s activity level and goals, here are some general rules to follow:

  • Try to avoid eating RIGHT before a workout.

    • Why? Your body needs time and energy to digest. Eating too close to your workout may cause stomach discomfort and decrease performance.

  • Fuel up 1-3 hours before your workout with a combination of carbohydrates and protein. At the very minimum, carbohydrates are needed.

    • Why? Carbohydrates break down to glucose (then stored as glycogen in our muscles) and are our bodies #1 choice for fuel. Protein breaks down to amino acids that aid in muscle repair.

  • Examples of carbohydrate + protein combinations:

    • Apple or Banana with 2 tablespoons of Nut Butter

    • 1/2 of a peanut butter + banana or jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread

    • 1/3 cup trail mix

    • Greek Yogurt with fruit

  • Post workout, especially after high intensity and/or long duration exercise, you need to replace nutrients used within 20-30 minutes. Depending on your schedule, this may be a snack or your next meal.

    • Why? Exercise depletes stored glycogen from muscles and will break down muscle tissue made by protein.

  • Examples of post workout snacks and meals:

    • Smoothie: Protein powder + 1 cup 1-2% milk + ½ cup fruit. If you don’t care to use protein powder, use 4-5 oz of plain Greek yogurt + 1 cup fruit. Optional: 1-2 tbsp of nut butter.

    • Turkey + cheese sandwich with whole wheat bread/wrap + veggies.

    • Chicken, lean red meat or fish + veggies with black beans or sweet potato.

    • Any of the pre-workout ideas above are perfect too!

Overall, it is important to remember to consume adequate nutrients on a daily basis. Avoid skipping meals as well as snacks that your body is asking for.

This article was written by Kat Scheurer, MS, RD, LD, CPT. Kat serves as Pop’s in-house Registered Dietitian as well as a Certified Personal Trainer. If you are looking for more answers and are still unsure of what your body needs, please feel free to contact her at 469-450-7006 or