Pre and Post-Workout Nutrition, According to a Registered Dietitian

Regardless of our exercise goals, it is important to create a pre and post-workout nutrition strategy. Workout meal plans help us achieve maximum output, speed our recovery, and allows for faster routine adaptation.


Healthy workout nutrition will help you achieve your body goals faster while reducing injury

Working out helps individuals stay fit and healthy, mentally, and physically. However, nutrition is the core foundation of a healthy lifestyle since it fuels our body and provides the necessary nutrition. As such, working out and proper nutrition go hand in hand.


A pre-workout meal boosts your performance, thus maximizing your exercise session

Do you feed and hydrate before your workout session? How about during and after? If your answers are no, then you’re doing a great injustice to your body. It’s because feeding before and after exercising maximizes your output, prevents nausea and lethargy, and boost post-workout recovery. Even though some people prefer pre-workout supplements, it’s important to have solid foods.


Creating a Workout Nutrition Strategy

Creating a nutrition and hydration plan that suits your workout sessions is tough work, but it’s always worth it. Other than preventing burnout and self-injury, it promotes muscle building. In addition, your plan should factor special training needs. They include;

  • If you’re a bodybuilder, the goal is to gain weight and grow a serious set of muscles. So, calorie and carb intake are high, and you should include a protein-carbohydrate drink during and post-workout to build muscle.


Eggs contain the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and repair

  • If you’re an endurance athlete training for high-level competitions, then you’re putting in a lot of high-intensity As such, you require a higher intake of carbs and calories. add carbs or protein shake to prevent post-workout tiredness
  • For a fitness competition, your goal would be to reduce your body fat to a single digit. So, your carb intake reduces. As such, you benefit from your muscle preserving EAA (Essential Amino Acids) during the training sessions.
  • For health and fitness or general body goals, you will not require any nutrition strategy.


Pre-workout Nutrition

Most people don’t pay much attention to pre-exercise nutrition. A lot of them will simply settle for a stimulant or stimulant free pre workout. However, post-workout nutrition is essential, and it serves several purposes.

Your feeding options before an exercise session should serve the following purposes;

  • Sustain your energy levels
  • Enhance your performance
  • Hydrate
  • Prevent muscle loss
  • Speed up recovery


Have a super-shake or meal to prevent light-headedness and lethargy during exercise

Eating protein helps you preserve and increase your muscle mass. In addition, they reduce markers of muscle destruction such as creatine kinase and myoglobin. Lesser damage to your muscles means a faster recovery, meaning you’ll adapt faster to your exercise regime.

Feeding on a carb meal will help enhance your performance even for shorter training sessions. In addition, they speed up your recovery. Carbs also preserve liver glycogen and muscle, thus improving muscle retention and enhancing growth.

Fats are important in slowing down digestion, thus keeping your insulin and glucose levels even.


Post-Exercise Nutrition

Contrary to what most people think, you don’t have to wait until your next feeding hour. It’s okay to feed after working out. Wondering why post-workout nutrition is important? It has several benefits to your body;

  • It helps your body recover
  • Post-workout hydration replenishes your body
  • Refuel
  • Build and grow muscles
  • Enhance future performance.

A proper post-workout meal is inclusive of carbs, protein, and fats.

Protein consumption stimulates the synthesis and inhibits the breakdown of protein. So, it helps you adapt better, improve recovery, and boost your performance. Dietitians recommend fast-acting proteins since muscles will absorb amino acids faster.

There is no scientific specification on the type of protein you should use, so this is entirely up to you. A super-shake is fast convenient, but you can also opt for a high-protein meal. Meals, shakes, or drinks taken post-workout use the available nutrients to replenish your body composition and muscle performance.


A Post Workout Nutrition Meal Plan

Whole Wheat Toast and an Egg

The carbs in the toast will replenish your energy, and the fibers will increase your blood sugar levels. On the other hand, an egg provides all the essential amino acids that help you build muscle. You can boil the egg or scramble it.


Chocolate Milk

Other than being an all-time favorite, chocolate milk offers the perfect carbs to protein ratio that will rebuild your muscles and replenish your energy. In addition, it rehydrates your body.


Whole-Grain Turkey Wraps

This easy to fix turkey wrap can double up as a meal that provides you with the necessary carbs and proteins. Use avocado instead of mayo to help fight off muscle cramps. In addition, avocado has plenty of vitamins and heart-healthy fats.


Greek Yogurt

If you’re looking for a yummy yet healthy snack, then Greek yogurt is the best option. With 20 grams of protein, you can opt to top up with the carbs of your choice. Adding blueberries to your yogurt will help to reduce inflammation – blueberries are antioxidants.

Regardless of your workout timeframe, it is essential to feed and hydrate before and after. However, bodies are different, and what works for others might be troublesome for you. So take time and observe how your body responds to your workout nutrition.

What are some of your favorite pre and post-workout nutrition snacks?

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Randolph Ray

A man who’s dedicated his entire life to studying healthy food habits and other related stuff that has to be definitely incorporated for healthy living. Randolph Ray has worked as a nutritionist for several years and can explain the nutrition contents in food to help you resolve eating disorders