Best workout nutrition strategies.  A useful guide for what to eat before, during, and after exercise.

In this guide, I’ll discuss what to eat before, during, and after exercise to optimize the results from your exercise program. I’ll cover the various energy-providing macronutrients and how to get the most from each one. I’ll also discuss healthy fats and what they can (and can’t) do for you. Finally, I’ll discuss how to ensure you’re getting the most from your workout nutrition program by considering your individual needs.

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The first step to getting the best workout is making sure you eat the right foods. In this article, we’ll explain the best nutritional choices for a healthy and safe workout program.. Read more about what to eat after a workout to build muscle and let us know what you think.

Are you looking for the finest dietary methods to help you get better results, reduce weight, and gain muscle? You’ve come to the right place. You may learn what to eat before, during, and after your exercise to achieve your particular objectives in this article.


What role does nutrition play while training? Is it true that consuming particular meals at certain times improves performance and aids in the development of lean muscle mass for fat loss? What should you consume before, during, and after your exercise, if that’s the case?

These are some of the most frequently asked questions on the site. So, in this post, I’ll look into the science of nutrition while exercise (you may be shocked by what I find) and share with you some of the finest nutrition during exercise methods for various objectives.

How do you determine whether or not nutrition is essential to you (or your customers) when exercising?

In our nutrition coaching programs, we deal with over 45,000 men and women. We now have a better knowledge of how nutrition tactics should vary from person to person throughout training as a result of this experience.

What applies to a pre-diabetic office worker who has never exercised does not apply to a serious endurance runner or a bodybuilder who has been training for a long time.

Athletes and competitive athletes, in particular, gain the most from training-related dietary methods. Consider the following scenario:

  • Endurance athletes that prepare for high-level events run hundreds of kilometers each week on average. Your carbohydrate and calorie requirements will almost certainly increase. Adding a protein and carbohydrate (P+C) drink to your workout may assist.
  • Bodybuilders often lift weights in order to gain substantial muscular mass. They often desire to gain weight and need increased protein and calorie intake. During exercise, a protein and carbohydrate (P+C) drink may also be beneficial.
  • To reduce their body fat percentage down to single digits, fitness enthusiasts typically put in a lot of training hours. You must decrease your carbohydrate and calorie consumption to do this. During exercise, a drink containing essential amino acids (EAA) may assist enhance performance and muscle preservation.

Here’s a handy table with our suggestions based on your objectives and body type.

Nutritional suggestions for pre-workout based on your objectives and morphology.

Housing Types Overarching goal Kindergarten During the training period Following the training,
Ectomorph Boost your muscular mass or improve your endurance. A typical meal 1-2 hours prior to During the day, 1 P+C drink, EAA drink, or water After 1 to 2 hours, eat normally.
Mesomorphic Optimisation of physical fitness or assistance with interval sports A typical meal 1-2 hours prior to During the day, 1 P+C drink, EAA drink, or water After 1 to 2 hours, eat normally.
Endomorph Reduces fat or promotes muscle growth. A typical meal 1-2 hours prior to 1 EAA drink or 1 liter of water After 1 to 2 hours, eat normally.

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Non-athletes: Focus on food quality and quantity.

Everyone else may satisfy their nutritional requirements while training by eating a good, mindful meal 1-2 hours before training and another healthy, conscientious meal within 1-2 hours after training.

As a result, if you:

  • Staying healthy and fit through participating in sports;
  • a set of modest goals; and/or
  • don’t have any special physiological requirements…

…then your training dietary plans will be much easier.

Concentrate on the following:

  • Be able to overcome dietary deficiency;
  • Make certain that your servings are the appropriate size; and
  • Begin eating properly for your body type.

Read the post 3 steps I teach coaches and trainers to fix every nutrition issue for more information.

Nutrition while training is described in detail.

You now have a good idea of what we recommend for various objectives, body types, and experience levels when it comes to nutrition while training. Some of you may be able to go now.

Let’s dive a bit deeper if you want to go even farther.

First, I’ll go through what occurs before to, during, and after training. Then I’ll teach you how to get the most out of it by telling you what to eat.

Before you workout, you’ll need certain nutrients.

Before you workout, what you eat and when you consume it may make a significant impact in your performance and recuperation.

You should eat something nutritious three hours before your workout:

  • Conserve energy;
  • Boost productivity;
  • moisturize;
  • muscular mass preservation; and
  • Recovery time is short.

Here are some strategies for ensuring that your requirements are fulfilled.

Before you workout, eat some protein.

Protein should be consumed a few hours before your workout:

  • Can aid in the maintenance or even growth of muscular mass. Anyone who wishes to enhance their health, body composition, or performance should do so.
  • It’s possible that it’ll help to decrease muscle injury indicators (myoglobin, creatine kinase and degradation of myofibrillar proteins). Or at the very least, slow down their deterioration. (This effect is not produced by carbohydrates or placebos given before exercise.) The less muscular damage you do, the quicker you’ll recover and the better you’ll be able to adapt to training over time.
  • Amino acids are replenished in the bloodstream at the precise moment when your body requires them. This boosts your muscle-building potential. Not only will you prevent injury, but you will also see an increase in muscle development.

Before you hurry to prepare a protein shake, keep in mind that although pre-workout protein is beneficial, the rate of absorption seems to be unimportant. As a result, any protein eaten within a few hours after exercise is advantageous.

Carbohydrates for pre-workout.

Carbohydrates before training:

  • It provides energy for your exercise and aids in recovery. Carbohydrates are often misunderstood to be required exclusively during lengthy endurance exercise (longer than two hours). Carbohydrates may even help you get more out of a one-hour high-intensity exercise. If you’re not hiking alone, make sure you have some carbs in your system to help you perform better at high intensity.
  • Glycogen is stored in the muscles and the liver. This signals to your brain that you’re eating properly and aids in the maintenance and growth of muscle.
  • Insulin secretion is stimulated. It increases protein synthesis and inhibits protein breakdown when coupled with proteins. Another reason why it’s a good idea to eat a variety of foods. It is not essential to consume sugary or carbohydrate-rich beverages.

Pre-workout fat.

Fats before a workout:

  • Make no changes to your athletic performance. They also don’t seem to help with performance, which is what carbohydrates are for.
  • They aid digestion by slowing things down, which helps to manage blood sugar and insulin levels while also keeping you active.
  • They are high in vitamins and minerals, which are essential in everyone’s diet.

Nutritional pre-service training in action

In light of all of this, here are some practical suggestions for the pre-training phase.

You can eat regularly for a few hours before your exercise, depending on your own requirements. You may also consume a lesser amount before working out. (You can even do both if you’re wanting to gain weight.)

Option 1: Allow 2-3 hours before training to prepare.

Long before exercising, eat a varied meal and drink a low-calorie beverage like B. Water.

Your lunch could look like this if you’re a man:


This is what your lunch could look like if you’re a woman.


A word of caution: Your real requirements are determined on your size, objectives, genetics, and the length and intensity of your exercises.

Athletes training for a 30 km race, for example, need more carbs than those preparing for a 45-minute gym session.

This article goes through how to customize these meals to meet your own requirements.

Option 2: 0-60 minutes before to your workout.

Some individuals prefer to eat a smaller amount closer to training rather than a big portion 2-3 hours prior.

The only issue is that the closer training gets, the less time you have to absorb it. As a result, at this time, we typically suggest something liquid, such as water. A smoothie or lemonade, for example.

Something like this might be yours:

  • 1 rounded scoop of protein powder
  • 1 pound of produce (spinach is perfect for smoothies)
  • 1-2 carbohydrate handfuls (berries or banana are excellent)
  • 1 chubby finger (e.g. mixed nuts or flaxseed)
  • a calorie-free beverage, such as B. Water or unsweetened almond milk

Here’s a tasty example:

  • 1 scoop protein powder (chocolate)
  • 1 tblsp. spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 8 oz. chocolate almond milk, unsweetened

It may go without saying, but select meals that won’t upset your stomach as part of your pre-workout diet. Because, well, you’re aware of what happens if you don’t.

Exercise necessitates nutrient intake.

Only in specific situations does what you eat or drink during exercise matter. When you eat while exercise, though, your objectives will be similar to when you eat before you exercise. Moisture must be maintained above everything else.

The following are the goals of nutrition during training:

  • Keep yourself hydrated;
  • immediately fuel it;
  • Boost productivity;
  • muscular preservation; and
  • to aid in recuperation

consuming protein when exercising

During training, you should consume the following amount of protein:

  • It aids in the prevention of muscle breakdown. In the long term, this may contribute to improved recuperation and adaptability to exercise. This is particularly true if it has been more than three hours since your previous meal. To regulate protein breakdown, you just need a modest quantity of protein – approximately 15 grams each hour. If you prefer to exercise on an empty stomach, 5 to 15 grams of EFAs may help you get the most out of your activity.
  • Athletes that undertake lengthy and hard training sessions, multi-day exercises, and/or individuals who are attempting to acquire substantial bulk are the only ones who need it.

Carbohydrates should be consumed during activity.

Carbohydrate consumption during exercise:

  • Provides a direct supply of fuel. This boosts productivity while also hastening recuperation. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced, while beneficial hormones are increased.
  • Endurance athletes who train for lengthy endurance runs, individuals who want to develop muscle mass, and extremely active people who require all the calories they can get to enhance their size, strength, and/or power are only helpful in specific situations.

How much carbohydrate should you consume?

It depends on the situation. During activity, the greatest quantity of carbs that may be digested/absorbed is 60-70 grams per hour.

You can get the same endurance performance with only 30-45 grams of carbs per hour if you add protein to the mix. A word of caution: Protein helps to prevent muscle breakdown, so include it in your diet is generally a good idea.

Fats produced through physical activity.

It’s a good idea to eat some fat before and after your exercise. ( However, you should avoid eating fat when exercising.) This is due to the fact that fats are more difficult to digest. Also, don’t put too much strain on your stomach while activity.

In practice, nutrition is important throughout training.

Is it necessary to eat when training?

This is dependent on how long it has been since you last ate and the length or kind of exercise you want to do.

It took less than two hours.

The emphasis should be on hydration for exercises lasting less than two hours. This is particularly true if you eat well before and after your exercise. As a result, don’t forget to carry plenty of water.

What about sports drinks, though? They have little benefits for activities lasting less than two hours. Especially if you ate well in the days leading up to the exercise.

There are, however, certain exceptions:

  • Sports drinks, which include electrolytes that assist with hydration and recovery, may be particularly beneficial if you’re exercising in the heat and sweating a lot.
  • Sports drinks may help you recover faster before your next session, even if you have a race or other training activity in less than eight hours.
  • Incorporating a protein and carbohydrate drink or some EAAs into your exercise may offer you a small edge if you’re aiming to gain as much muscle as possible.
  • Finally, drinking a sports drink during a race at the greatest level of sport or competition can’t harm to guarantee optimum hydration and energy.

Exercising for more than two hours is recommended.

Sports drinks may be very beneficial for exercises that continue longer than two hours. You’ll want to eat the following per hour:

  • Protein is 15 grams.
  • carbs in the range of 30-45 grams

This may be in the form of a liquid, a gel, or even a solid meal.

Even during extremely lengthy runs, many endurance runners choose to drink water and eat fruits and other things to give energy. If you’re confident you’re receiving enough protein, carbs, and electrolytes, particularly salt, you can use either method.

You should not depend only on water if you exercise for more than two hours, particularly in the heat. This has a negative impact on your performance and recuperation. It may also cause hyponatremia, which is a condition in which salt levels in the blood are abnormally low. Hyponatraemia is a condition that causes abnormal muscle and cardiac contractions and may potentially result in death.

If you sweat a lot, sports drinks are a good choice.

Nutritional requirements after training.

Let’s take a look at how to eat after an exercise.

After your exercise, eat a meal to help:

  • repair
  • rehydrate;
  • Fill your tank with gas;
  • muscular development; and
  • enhancing future performance

After a workout, eat some protein.

Protein consumption after exercise inhibits protein breakdown and promotes synthesis, resulting in muscle tissue growth or maintenance. As a result, it’s a great way to improve your recuperation, adaptability, and performance.

Most fitness gurus used to suggest fast-acting proteins like whey or casein hydrolysate. Early studies have shown that the quicker amino acids enter the muscle, the greater the effects.

However, recent study suggests that hydrolyzed proteins that are swiftly digested may reach our systems too fast. They can’t enhance protein synthesis and prevent protein breakdown since they enter and exit the circulation so rapidly.

Furthermore, the splanchnic bed absorbs the majority of hydrolyzed casein (i.e. our internal organs). This implies it isn’t as effective as it might be in increasing protein synthesis in other areas.

And since the protein you had before to the exercise is still in your system, it makes no difference how quickly it acquires weight.

In other words, there is no scientific proof that protein powders, particularly fast-absorbing ones, are healthier for us after an exercise than full proteins. However, they’re not likely to be much worse. This implies that for your post-workout meal, you may choose any kind of protein.

Do you want it to be simple and quick? After your exercise, make a delicious protein shake.

Do you have a strong desire to eat? Then prepare a substantial protein meal.

As long as you consume enough of it, any high-quality complete protein should suffice. This equates to approximately 40-60 grams (about 2 palms) for males and 20-30 grams for women (1 palm).

Carbohydrates after an exercise.

Contrary to common perception, eating a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugars to increase insulin levels and supposedly replenish muscle and liver glycogen as soon as possible after exercise isn’t required.

In reality, the ideal option is a combination of minimally processed carbohydrates from whole foods and some fruit (for improved recovery or liver glycogen retention).

  • is more easily accepted;
  • Glycogen is replenished uniformly throughout a 24-hour period; and
  • This may result in improved performance the following day.

Athletes who use glycogen in two sessions in less than eight hours may be an exception to this rule, since the pace at which glycogen is restored is important in this scenario. Whole meals with fruit, on the other hand, are ideal for most healthy individuals who exercise.

When insulin levels are 15-30 mMe/l, muscle protein breakdown is inhibited and muscle protein synthesis is optimal, according to research. The fasting value of 5-10 mIU/l is just three times higher.

If you eat a mixed meal or drink a Super Shake a few hours before and after your exercise, you can easily meet these goals. Even if you eat a varied diet, your blood sugar levels should stay at this range for four hours after a meal.

Fat accumulation after a workout.

Fat after exercise is frowned upon because it delays digestion and nutrition absorption.

While this is true, in most instances it is also unimportant. We’ve previously shown that the speed with which proteins and carbohydrates are digested isn’t as essential as we formerly thought. Fats are the same way.

After exercising, one research examined what occurs when individuals drink skim milk instead of full milk. The participants were given 14 ounces of skim milk or 8 ounces of whole milk to drink (which balances out the calories, for those who like caloric calculations).

Skim milk provided the same amount of calories as whole milk but added six grams of protein. As a result, one may believe they have an edge.

Those that drank whole milk, on the other hand, had a greater net protein balance! And the researchers have no other reason beyond whole milk’s fat content.

Other research has shown that consuming 55 grams of fat after exercise and another 55 grams at the following two meals had no effect on glycogen replenishment, while eating less fat and the same amount of carbs did.

Clearly, the advantages of protein and carbohydrate consumption during exercise are unaffected by fat. In fact, it could be beneficial!

Nutrition after a workout in action.

You don’t have to hurry to the fridge after your exercise, and you don’t have to reach into the fridge before you eat if you don’t have to. If you don’t eat for two hours after you workout, your recuperation will be slowed.

However, it is contextual; what you ate before your exercise has an effect. It’s definitely more essential for you to eat your post-exercise meal fast if your pre-workout meal was modest or if you ate it a few hours before your workout. In about an hour, most likely.

It’s also a good idea to eat right after exercising if you’ve exercised sober (for example, before breakfast).

You still have an hour or two after your exercise to eat your post-workout meal and get the most out of your workout meal if you ate a regular blended meal a few hours before your workout (or a tiny smoothie closer to your workout).

So go ahead and spend an hour in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

After a physical exercise, wait 0-2 hours.

The same technique applies to post-workout recovery as it does to pre-workout preparation: Consume a well-balanced dinner that includes a variety of genuine foods.

Again, this is how it might have been built:

  • 2 squirrels with wings;
  • 2 vegetable-filled joints
  • 2 hands full of carbohydrates;
  • fat on two fingers;
  • a low-calorie beverage, such as B. water

And here’s how ladies can make it happen:

  • 1 palm of a squirrel;
  • Vegetables in a handful;
  • 1 handful of carbohydrates from corn;
  • A pound of fat;
  • a low-calorie beverage, such as B. water

After an exercise, you may or may not feel hungry. It’s a good thing, too. You can go on a liquid diet if you don’t feel like eating.

Make a tasty smoothie using the same serving size as before.


What should I do next? Some suggestions from.

Finally, there is no one-size-fits-all pre- and post-workout nutrition.

However, the exercise nutrition methods discussed in this article provide the basis for you to explore, practice, and figure out what works best for you (or, if you’re a trainer, what works best for your clients).

1. Recognize your own requirements.

A 155-pound endurance athlete and a 225-pound bodybuilder recuperating after a hard exercise have very different protein, carbohydrate, fat, and hydration requirements.

Different post-workout recovery requirements will be dictated by the seasons of your training year. When it comes to beginning a diet in preparation for competitions, the same bodybuilder will need a different strategy.

2. Choose whole foods to keep things simple.

The ideal meals before and after training for most of us who don’t have a sports event coming up consist of a mix of elements:

  • proteins of superior grade,
  • carbs of superior grade,
  • fats that are good for you and
  • fruits and vegetables in particular

Proteins, carbs, lipids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients are all included in this complete meal, which helps to build muscles, give energy, decrease inflammation, and accelerate recovery.

You can, of course, consume solid meals or drink powerful smoothies as well. Furthermore, the quantity of each macronutrient varies depending on individual requirements, preferences, and tolerances.

3. Verify that the time is accurate.

To receive the most benefit from the exercise, you should set aside one to two hours for both portions.

Recent research indicates that the overall quantity of protein and carbohydrate eaten throughout the day is much more essential than a particular nutrition timing approach for developing lean muscle, decreasing fat, and increasing performance.

4. The willingness to make long-term commitments

You may not have a good understanding of the dietary requirements for your training – or for your clients – until you’ve tested and selected what seems to work best for a few months.

Accept it and move forward. It takes time to reach a new level of fitness and body composition. So, rather of being a letdown, consider it a fun task.

If you’re a trainer or wish to be one,

It’s both an art and a science to educate customers, patients, friends, and family members to eat healthily and adjust their lifestyles to their bodies, preferences, and situations.

Consider Level 1 certification if you want to learn more about both.

If you’re looking for a workout nutrition guide, you’ve come to the right place. True, there are many articles on the topic, but there’s a problem with most of them: they’re not always accurate. That’s why I’ve written this guide, for those of you who are tired of reading about “low-carb” diets and “high-fat” diets. I’ll show you the most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight and keep it off, and how to make it all work for you.. Read more about eat before or after workout to build muscle and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which nutrient should be eaten before during and after exercise for quick energy?

The best thing to eat before exercise is a carbohydrate-rich meal. This will help with energy levels and endurance during the workout. After exercise, it is recommended that you have a protein-rich meal to help repair muscle tissue and recover faster.

What types of pre Exercise Nutrition Do you consume before your workouts?

I consume a lot of proteins and carbs before my workouts.

How should you eat before a workout?

It is best to eat a light meal before your workout.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • what to eat before a workout
  • eat before or after workout
  • what to eat after workout
  • what to eat during exercise
  • what to eat 30 minutes before workout

Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.