What to Eat Before and After Exercise


Exercise is good for you, but it’s also much more important to eat right before and after your exercise session. Doing so can help reduce post-workout muscle soreness and increase energy levels, making it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Before Exercise

  • Eat a small meal about an hour before your workout. Having food in your stomach can be helpful for some people, but others may prefer to go for a run on an empty stomach.
  • Carbohydrates are important for fueling your body. The best ones are complex carbohydrates and fruits, which have more fiber than processed sugars or starches.
  • Protein is also important for recovery after exercise—it helps repair damage to muscle fibers so you can get stronger. Don’t worry about eating too much protein; all the extra will be stored as fat, unless you’re working out intensely every day and eating very little else besides protein (which isn’t healthy).
  • Avoid high-fat foods such as fried chicken wings or pizza before exercise because they take longer to digest and won’t provide energy during your workout.*

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After Exercise

After exercise, you’ll want to eat a well-balanced meal that includes lean protein and complex carbohydrates. For example, grilled chicken breast with brown rice and roasted sweet potatoes is a great post-workout choice.

Water is also important—drink at least 16 ounces of water after you exercise to help rehydrate your body. Finally, don’t forget to stretch! Stretching will help loosen up tight muscles from exercise and prevent injury in the future. After stretching out your body, it’s time for cooling down!


Eating right before and after exercise is important.

Eating right before and after exercise is important. Your body needs energy to keep you going, so it’s important to eat something beforehand. If you’ve been running on fumes for a while and don’t have much of an appetite, a small snack such as a banana or apple will do the trick.

However, if your appetite is roaring ahead of its usual schedule, consider eating something more substantial like tuna salad (stay away from high-fat foods), beans or a smoothie with fruit added in.

If you’re exercising intensely (within two hours of finishing), avoid foods that are high in fat or sugar; they’ll slow down how quickly your body absorbs nutrients and make them more difficult for it to digest later on.


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Likewise, acidic foods such as citrus fruits can cause stomach discomfort when consumed during exercise; this discomfort may also hinder proper digestion afterwards by keeping the stomach busy dealing with other issues instead of breaking down food properly.

Caffeinated drinks (coffee included) should be avoided during exercise periods because they stimulate nerves that cause muscle contractions—not exactly what we’re looking for when we’re trying to relax those muscles! Finally: drink plenty of water throughout the day so that dehydration doesn’t interfere with proper functioning either pre- or post-exercise periods!


So, what’s the takeaway? Well, first of all, don’t skip any meals! Your body needs nutrients to function at its best, and if you don’t give it what it needs then things will start breaking down. If you do need to eat before exercise, remember that small portions are better than large ones—and if you think about eating light foods like fruit or yogurt, those are always good options as well.

After exercising is when we really start building muscle! Make sure you eat enough protein so that your muscles can grow stronger over time without losing muscle mass during training sessions (which happens often). Finally: keep hydrated! Water is essential for keeping our bodies healthy while exercising because it flushes out toxins while replenishing electrolytes lost through sweating during exercise sessions.