Eating Right Before & After Exercise

11 Feb


There are so many people that simply cannot understand why they are not getting the desired results even though they are exercising like mad and pushing their bodies to the limit in the gym!! One of the main mistakes made is that lots of us don’t fuel our bodies with enough energy to withstand these gruelling exercise sessions. Our body is too clever for us, and if it feels like it is running out of energy it will do it’s best to conserve what it can. This means that the exercise you are doing is pretty useless as you are working against your body to burn off energy!

The idea that eating as little as possible and exercising as much as possible is not helpful when trying to better your body! It simply won’t work long term.


If you starve your body of sufficient fuel before you exercise, your body will run out of fuel. When this happens, it will go to the muscles to find protein instead of the kidneys or liver where is would normally go. This will ultimately decrease your metabolism actually making it more difficult to lose weight at all!

The best thing to eat before a workout is a combination of complex carbohydrates and protein. Below are some examples…

  • small sweet potato & broccoli
  • banana & almond butter
  • apple & walnuts
  • hummus and multigrain crackers
  • brown rice & black beans



During exercise, your body taps the fuel stored in your muscles known as glycogen for energy. After you’ve finished, your muscles are depleted of their glycogen stores. Eating something that combines protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour after your workout will refill energy stores, build and repair your muscles that were broken down, and help keep your metabolism burning strong for hours after you have finished exercising.

The sooner you start refueling, the better off you’ll be. Research shows that your body’s ablity to refill muscle stores decreases by 50% if you wait to eat even two hours after your workout compared to eating right away. Try to plan ahead and even bring your post workout snack to the gym to make things easier.

Here are some ideas…

  • Protein shake & banana
  • Peanut butter, rice cakes & banana
  • Hummous & rice cakes
  • Natural yogurt & fresh berries
  • Tuna & whole wheat bread
  • Turkey, cheese & apple slices


Try out some of the above snack ideas before and after exercising and see how you feel. Give your body the right fuel and see how much easier it is to achieve your goals in the gym!!