Blogilates: Fitness, Food, and lots of Pilates · Jul 8, 2015

What to eat before and after your workout!

Hey guys!

I know you’re doing an amazing job KILLING your workouts, but I also want to make sure you’re fueling your body with what it needs before and after you exercise. Pre and post-workout nutrition is essential! The purpose of eating before and after a workout is simple – to fuel, repair and replenish your body. What you eat before and after exercise depends on the type of training you’re doing and its intensity.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Pre-Workout meal – when and how much?

Depending on how much time you have, it’s ideal to have a pre-workout meal about 2 hours before exercise that contains ~300 to 500 calories, OR have a smaller meal/snack with less calories, 30 to 60 minutes before you train. Pre-workout meals will vary from person to person because some people take a longer time to digest certain foods. It’s best to listen to your body and notice how you feel after you eat.

If you’re going to be strength training…

Eat a meal or snack that contains about 75% carbs and 25% protein before a strength training session. The carbs will give your body the energy needed to produce power, while the protein will not only keep you full longer, but also help your muscles repair and grow.

If you’re going to be doing cardio…

A pre-workout meal or snack for cardio requires more carbs than protein. This is because carbs turn into energy quicker and will help keep you fueled for your workout. Carbs should consist of 75-100% of your pre-cardio meal. You can add a portion of protein or fiber to deliver a steadier rate of energy and help prevent fatigue halfway through.

You want to eat low glycemic index carbs that are easy on your stomach because they are released more slowly into your body and will give you long lasting energy. Examples include fruit, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and beans. Stay away from too much fat pre-workout because fats take a longer time to digest and may be hard on your stomach. But, having one serving of fat will slow digestion, which will help maintain your energy level.

Now…GO WORK OUT! Try the 1000 Abs Challenge :)

Ok. You’re done sweating. So let’s talk…

Post-Workout Nutrition – how long do I wait?

Consuming a post-workout meal within 2 hours of your gym session will give your body what it needs to repair, grow and build strength for future performance. Ultimately, the timing of your post-workout meal/snack will depend on how hungry you are and how much you ate before your workout. Just like pre-workout meals, post-workout nutrition also depends on what type of training you did and its intensity.

If you Strength Trained…

After strength training, protein is needed to repair and grow lean muscle mass, while carbohydrates will replenish your body with energy and prevent muscle soreness. Therefore, a combination of protein and carbs is best after strength training. Remember – fueling your body after a workout is essential to ensure you are not losing muscle mass, but instead maintaining and building it.


After cardio, hydration is MOST important! Drinking pure water right after a workout will replenish your body from the water lost during sweat. You then want to replace the energy you used by having a snack or meal high in carbs. Having a healthy carb choice such as fruit, veggies or whole grains will not only refuel your energy levels, but also replace electrolytes lost during your workout.

The amount of carbs and protein you need will depend on how intense your workout was. For example, if you just did a moderate yoga class, you won’t need as many carbohydrates compared to someone who just finished a high-intensity interval session. Generally, the more intense the workout, the more carbs you need.

What if your workout combines both strength and cardio?


Generally, you want to eat a meal high in protein 2-3 hours before your workout (if you have time) and then eat a high carb snack 30 to 60 minutes right before your gym session. Always drink plenty of water post-workout and have an extra carb serving. The combination of strength and cardio is more intense, therefore you want to be sure you have enough energy to support the workout and then replenish your body adequately after. Use any of the options listed above and simply add an extra serving of carbs.

I hope you guys enjoyed this and find that it added value to your healthy journey! Feel free to pin the graphics and share with your friends. Also, what topic do you want me to tackle next?

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