Pre & Post Workout Meal Timing

By: Kathryn Jablonski

As most athletes can attest to, the question of ‘when’ to eat becomes just as important as ‘what’ to eat. Food timing before and after is always taken seriously among athletes to ensure they are getting the most out of their workouts, and it should be for anyone! Here is a breakdown of when you should eat around a workout, and what that meal should consist of:

Pre Workout Timing

Depending if you are having a snack or a full meal, you want to give yourself enough time to properly digest everything, but provide you with enough energy throughout your workout. That being said, you should give yourself at least 1-2 hours for a snack and 3-4 hours for a larger meal and your workout. It’s important to avoid foods that will cause discomfort, gas, and cramps during your workout for well, obvious reasons! This includes fruit juices, fried or junk food, carbonated drinks, beans, or cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.).

My favorite pre workout meal: Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and bananas about 2 or more hours before my workout. It provides carbohydrates for energy, proteins to prevent injury and increase the amount of potential muscle gain, and an added plus of potassium!

Post Workout Timing

On the contrary, your post workout meal is best to eat as soon as possible after a workout. You should be eating 15-45 minutes after your workout. This meal should consist of carbs to refuel glycogen stores that were depleted during the work out, and protein to provide the muscles with amino acids to help keep what you just worked hard for and to prevent injury.

My favorite post workout meal: Protein smoothie right when I get home. Smoothies are super easy to whip up quickly after a workout, and provide your body with the needed protein and carbs. My recent favorite has been a pineapple mango avo smoothie, with coconut water, vanilla protein powder, and as with all my smoothies, a handful of spinach.


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