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Best Pre and Post Workout Meals

Posted on 14 December 2014

Fueling Your Body: Best Pre and Post Workout Meals

Meal timing can be a very useful tool in your fitness journey; pre and post workout meals are essential for fueling your body and maximizing your workouts. Here are some pre and post workout meals to help you achieve optimal results:

Pre-Workout Meal/Snacks fuel your workout and your performance. Pre-workout meals should be consumed 60-90 minutes prior to your workout. The timing of the pre-workout meal is essential to ensure that it is properly digested. Your pre-workout meal should include lean protein and carbohydrates. Once the protein and carbohydrates enter your bloodstream, the glucose and amino acids that are provided will energize you through your workout. The carbohydrates included in your pre-workout meal increases muscle glycogen, which will reduce the fatigue you may encounter during the workout. In addition, carbohydrates and protein work to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Ingesting protein in your pre-workout meal is vital for your muscles and preventing the breakdown of the muscle tissue. Eating a pre-workout meal also prevents you from taking a pre-workout shake on an empty stomach. Here are some food ideas to help you create the best pre-workout meal/snack for you (portions will vary based on your weight, fitness goals, level of activity, etc., but the measurements given below are to give you some idea of how much to consume):

  • ¼ - ½ cup of white or brown rice
  • Chicken and turkey (the breast of the chicken and turkey are ideal)
  • White Fish
  • 1 slice of Ezekiel break, ½ banana, 1 tbsp. of nut butter, dash of cinnamon
  • 2 rice cakes with 1-2 tbsp. of nut butter
  • Sweet potato (if it’s big, cut it in half)
  • Oatmeal, 1/3 – ½ cup of oats, ½ - 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk or water, ½ banana, dash of cinnamon
  • 3-6 egg whites with 1/3 – ½ cup of oats (oatmeal)
  • ½ - 1 cup of Greek Yogurt with ¼ - 1/2 cup of berries

There are many more options, but this is a good start. You can always do more research and find more great ideas for your pre-workout meals/snacks.

Post-Workout Meals are essential to helping with your body’s recovery from your workout. Following a workout, your muscles are depleted, thus making proper post-workout nutrition to be critical. Post-workout meals are incredibly important in helping the body to restore energy levels, increase protein synthesis and reduce muscle breakdown. Proper post-workout nutrition can aid in lessening muscle soreness. Furthermore, post-workout meals can improve the body’s ability to build muscle as well as feed the muscles with necessary nutrients. A post-workout meal should be consumed no later than an hour after a workout. If you wait too long to eat your post-workout meal, you are compromising your body’s recovery. Post-workout meals help to optimize the results of the workout you just pushed through, so make sure you treat this meal with the importance it deserves in your fitness journey. Here are some food ideas to help you create the best post-workout meal for you (portions will vary based on your weight, fitness goals, level of activity, etc., but the measurements are given below to give you some idea of what to consume):

  • Protein shake
  • Lean meats (steak, bison, ground beef, etc.)
  • Chicken and turkey (breast of the chicken and turkey are ideal)
  • Fish (salmon, cod, flounder, etc.)
  • ¼ - ½ cup of white or brown rice
  • Red, white or sweet potatoes (small)
  • 1 apple with almonds or 1 tbsp. of nut butter
  • Veggie burger
  • 1 cup of green vegetables (Brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, green beans, broccoli, chard, etc.)
  • Hummus with mixed vegetables
  • Turkey Burger
  • Lean Ground Beef Burger
  • Egg-white omelet 
  • Grilled Chicken (you can also use turkey or salmon) Salad (use kale, spinach, chard, etc.)
  • White-tuna (no sodium added) with vegetables and use it as a topping in your salad

There are many more options, but this is a good place to start. You can always do more research and find more great ideas for your post-workout meals. Eat your food, fuel your body and become the lean, mean machine you are working so hard to be!

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