Anybody who is a health freak or is into hardcore workout regime is well aware about the fact and significance of what to eat before and after a workout.
Yes what we eat before a workout or after can play a very important role in maintaining the overall health balance of our body. As along with workouts the consumption of the required amount of protein and carbohydrates can play a crucial role either in the weight loss procedure or in the body building process.
There is a lot that is being said about the key role that food plays in the overall workout sessions. So in order to know more about the benefits of the right food before working out or after working out do read further.
There are basically two different categories of food for people who workout on a regular basis.
Pre Workout Meals and Post Workout Meals
Pre Workout Meal Benefits:
This food category is all about consuming food that is packed with energy and that needs to be consumed before 2-3 hours of your workout session.
- Boosts your energy levels during workouts
- Increases your muscle growth during the workout
- Prevents your body from muscle breakdown
Post Workout Meal Benefits:
This food category requires you to consume food at least 15 mins post your workout session if you are focusing on muscle building and if you are aiming for a weight loss regime then you can consume food within 45 mins to an hour after your workout session.
- Reduces the protein breakdown
- Increases the protein synthesis in the body post workouts
- Improves the post workout recovery process
- Reduces the muscle soreness in the body post workouts
- Improves the muscle growth in the body post workouts
- Improves the bone mass levels in the body post workouts
- Improves the ability of the body to utilize the good fats in the body
- Boosts the immunity levels post workouts
Now that we have gained some knowledge about the importance of pre workout and after workout meal benefits let us now move on with some great recipes for your pre workout and post workout food needs.
So if you are curious to know what to eat before a workout keep reading further as we recommend some delicious, healthy and quick pre workout meals.
Pre Workout Snacks
Dates & Peanut Butter
Confused about what to eat before working out? Looking for healthier and time saving options?
Then this recipe is the one for you!
Dates are packed with fibres and natural sugars. It helps in stabilizing your energy levels as well as balances the blood sugar levels in the body.
Peanut butter is loaded with protein that helps in improving your muscle growth as you workout.
- Deseeded Dates – 7-8
- Peanut Butter – 3-4 tsp
- Firstly cut half open the deseeded dates and into this add in the peanut butter.
- Stuff them enough so that they don’t drip out of the dates.
- This is a good pre workout meal as it can be consumed an hour prior to your workout session.
- This snack idea is also a great option for post workout food needs.
Strawberry & Yogurt Parfait
This is probably the best pre workout meal as it is light, healthy, refreshing and delicious in taste.
Yogurt helps in boosting the energy levels as well as keeps you full.
The whole grain cereal is a healthy option to add the much required carbs portion to start your day with.
Strawberries add that bit of freshness in taste just what you need to start your day with. It also helps in balancing the blood sugar levels in the body throughout your workout.
- Non Fat Yoghurt – ¼ Cup
- Whole Grain Cereal – ½ Cup
- Fresh Strawberries – ½ Cup
- Serving Bowl
- Take a serving bowl and into this add in the non fat yogurt, whole grain cereal and the fresh strawberries.
- Mix this well and enjoy this delicious meal.
- This meal can also be considered as a delicious pre workout breakfast option as it is extremely healthy.
Apple with Peanut Butter, Cinnamon & Yogurt Dip
Not sure about what to eat before a workout?
Then try this simple and energy boosting breakfast option before your workout regime.
Apples are rich in fiber content and low in calorie.
Peanut butter is packed with proteins and healthy fats. It helps in boosting the energy levels just before your workout session.
Cinnamon adds that sweet spice flavor to the meal.
Yogurt is a great healthy and low fat option for a breakfast meal.
- Apple – 1 Nos.
- Non Fat Yoghurt – ½ Cup
- Cinnamon – 1 pinch
- Peanut Butter – 1-2 tbsp
- Serving Bowl
- Firstly slice the apples and keep them aside.
- Now take a serving bowl and into this add in the no fat yoghurt, peanut butter and the cinnamon powder.
- Mix this well until it forms a smooth paste like consistency.
- Now you can consume this by dipping the slices of the apple into this delicious and healthy dip.
- This is a healthy and quick option if you are constantly confused about what to eat before and after a workout.
- This meal boosts the energy levels before workout as well as replenishes the energy levels after a workout session.
- It can even be considered as the best natural option to add the much required protein and fiber content to your daily diet.
Whole Wheat Grain Toast with Banana Slices & Cinnamon
One of the most common concerns of planning or eating before a workout is for it to be healthy and must increase your energy levels.
Including a good amount of carbohydrates into your diet early in the morning is also a great way to have a high rate of energy throughout your workout routine.
Whole wheat grain toast is packed with fiber and is also packed with carbs.
Bananas are rich in potassium and also help in adding that extra energy level to your day.
Cinnamon has been scientifically proven to stabilize the blood sugar levels in the body which is very important pre and post workout.
- Whole Wheat Grain Toast – 1 Slice
- Banana – 1 Nos.
- Cinnamon Powder – 1 small pinch
- Serving Dish
- Firstly peel the banana and cut it into slices.
- Now sprinkle the cinnamon powder all over the toast and add the banana slices over the toast.
- This is a great way to eat banana before workout as it improves digestion and is also packed with energy.
- This helps in allowing you to remain energetic and active for a longer period of time.
Banana & Walnut Smoothie
Should you eat before or after a workout is one common query amongst most of us.
Working out on an empty stomach is a complete no as you need energy to have a good and healthy workout session. So does the body needs to replenish the energy levels post a workout session.
This banana and walnut smoothie is a great pre workout as well as post workout meal option.
Bananas are packed with protein and fiber and they also aid in boosting the energy levels prepping the body for the workout session.
Walnuts are packed with healthy natural fats and also help in preventing the body from weight gain.
Honey in this recipe acts as a natural sweetener.
- Skim Milk – 1 Cup
- Banana – 1 Nos.
- Honey – 1 tbsp
- Vanilla Essence – ½ tsp
- Walnuts – 2 tbsp
- Serving Glass
- Firstly peal the banana and roughly chop it into slices.
- Now add the banana slices into a blending jar.
- Now to the same jar add in the honey, walnuts, skim milk and the vanilla essence.
- Blend this or about 4-5 mins or until it forms a smoothie like consistency.
- Transfer it into a serving glass.
- This smoothie is probably the best thing to eat before a workout as it keeps you full as well as packed with that kick of energy for the workout ahead of you.
- It is also a great meal for a post workout food need.
Blueberries & Almond Butter Smoothie
Looking quick, natural and the best pre workout snack?
Then this smoothie is the one for you.
Most often people skip the need to find natural replacements instead of opting for the protein shakes. There are many natural fruits and vegetables that are packed with healthy fats and a good amount of protein that is excellent for the energy needs of our body before working out.
Almond butter is naturally packed with healthy fats, fibre and protein.
Blueberries are not only delicious but extremely low in calories and high in their nutritive content.
Banana’s again are rich in fibre and help in boosting the energy levels of our body.
- Banana – 1 Ripe
- Almond Butter – 2-3 tbsp
- Blueberries – 1 ½ Cup Frozen
- Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
- Flaxseeds – 2 tbsp
- Water – 1 Cup
- Firstly peel the banana and add it into the blending jar.
- Into the same jar add in the almond butter, blueberries, lemon juice, flaxseeds and water.
- Blend this for 3-4 mins or until it forms a smoothie like consistency.
- Now transfer this into a serving glass.
- This is probably the most natural and best pre workout food as it is packed with not just energy but also great taste.
- This can be had either as a breakfast alternative an hour before working out.
Now for the next part of the confusion about what to before and after a workout is the list of post workout foods.
Post Workout Snacks
Greek Yogurt Topped with Fruits
What to eat after a workout is probably the most tiresome query that most of us tend to have. The primary reason for this is that because a good workout can leave you exhausted and you need that quick meal that can restore that lost energy and make you feel fresh and active again.
A bowl full of fruits maybe refreshing but lacks the required energy dose that our body requires post workout.
Greek yoghurt has probably the twice the amount of protein that the regular yoghurt is packed with. It is also a great natural source of carbohydrates that your body needs to build muscles.
- Greek Yoghurt – 1 Cup
- Mixed Fruits – ½ Cup
- Fresh fruits like banana, apple, berries and even dates can serve as the perfect topping for this post workout meal
- Add half a cup of fresh fruits to a cup full of greek yoghurt.
- Consume this within 15-20 mins post your workout session.
- This meal is simple, quick to make and restores the energy levels perfectly after a workout session.
Protein Pancakes with Bananas
Are you looking for quicker solutions for your query about what should I eat after a workout?
Then this meal could be just the one for you!
These protein pancakes are packed with protein obviously but also contain multi nutritional value. It also helps in retaining the muscle tissues post a workout session.
A regular intake of these pancakes after workouts will help you gain muscle strength also energises you after workouts.
- Rolled Oats – ½ Cup
- Egg Whites – 4
- Cottage Cheese – ½ Cup
- Vanilla Essence – ½ tsp
- Baking Powder – 1/8 tsp
- Banana – 1 Nos.
- Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
- Take a mixing bowl and add in the ingredients one after the other.
- Firstly add the rolled oats, cottage cheese, baking powder, vanilla essence and then the egg whites.
- Mix this well until all the ingredients are well combined and it forms a smooth batter.
- Now take a saucepan and put it on a low heat.
- Now on to this pan add in the olive oil.
- Now take large spoonfuls of that pancake batter and pour it over the saucepan in circles.
- Cook it until it starts to bubble and then flip it over to the other side and cook for it another 30-60 seconds.
- Once done transfer them onto the serving dish.
- Now peel the banana and cut it into slices and add it over the pancakes you just made.
- This probably is the best thing to eat after a workout as it is packed with protein and fibre.
This probably is the humblest and the healthiest of options for your daily post workout nutrition needs.
Eggs are packed with protein and a good amount of protein intake post workout helps in building muscles, repairing muscles and also re-energizes you.
- Eggs – 2-3 Whole Eggs
- Chopped Onion – Handful
- Chopped Spinach – Handful
- Chopped Bell Peppers – Handful
- Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
- Salt & Pepper – For Taste
- Mixed Herbs Powder – 1 tsp
- Serving Dish
- Firstly place the saucepan over a medium heat and into this add in the olive oil.
- Now add the chopped vegetables to the saucepan and sauté it for 4-5 mins.
- Once the veggies look cooked add in the whole eggs and scramble them for 2-3 mins.
- Once cooked add in the salt and pepper and the mixed herbs powder and stir it and take it off the heat.
- Transfer it into a serving dish and enjoy.
- Eggs are probably the best things to eat after a workout as it restores the energy levels in the body and also repairs the muscles.
The first thing that any individual who workouts on a regular basis is to look for the best post workout food.
But according to many popular celebrity nutritionists it is extremely important that they opt for a drink instead that repairs their muscles and also reduces the inflammation in the different parts of the body post workouts.
The one drink that is most commonly consumed amongst top Hollywood celebrities is this unique turmeric smoothie.
Turmeric is known for its anti inflammatory properties and combining this with milk and bananas is probably the best way to restore the energy, add in the protein for better muscle growth as well as reduce the pain and the inflammation in the body post workouts.
- Low Fat Milk/Water – 1 Cup
- Banana – 1 Nos.
- Berries – ½ Cup
- Turmeric Powder – 1 Pinch or ½ tsp
- One can choose either low fat milk or water depending on their individual taste and preference for this recipe.
- Add in the low fat milk into the blending jar.
- Peel the banana and add it to the same jar.
- Add the berries and the turmeric powder too.
- Now blend this for 3-4 mins or until it turns into a smoothie like consistency.
- Now transfer this into a serving glass and enjoy.
- Bananas or milk is probably the best foods to eat after a workout and adding turmeric to this winning combination only helps in reducing the inflammation in the body which is common post workouts.
Whey Protein Milkshake
What should I eat after a workout?
Question sounds similar?
Well it is the one common question that most of us have who follow a strict workout regime.
And the one common answer would also be the Whey Protein powder.
Whey protein is a universally accepted form of restoring your energy levels post a workout session.
According to many health surveys conducted whey protein has also been awarded many a times the title of being one of the best post workout foods.
Combining the whey protein with almond milk will double up for the nutritive content that the drink will offer.
- Whey Protein Powder – 1 Scoop
- Almond Milk – 1 Cup
- Empty Bottle
- One can choose the choice of whey protein powder depending upon their individual choice and taste as it is available in many delicious flavors.
- Add in a scoop of the whey protein powder into a cup of almond milk.
- Now transfer this into an empty water bottle and shake it well.
- This protein milk shake can be consumed immediately within 15-20 mins post your workout regime.
- This milkshake can also serve as the quickest and the best post workout breakfast
Garlic Thyme Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Apart from being extremely delicious sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients.
Sweet potatoes are a rich natural source of magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin B6. They are also rich in carbohydrates and this is what helps in repairing the muscles post workouts.
So if you are still wondering what should you eat after a workout that is completely vegetarian and plants based then try this delicious and healthy recipe.
- Sweet Potatoes – 4 Medium Sized
- Fresh Thyme Leaves – 1/3 Cup
- Garlic Cloves – 3-4 Large Cloves
- Red Pepper Powder – ½ tsp
- Olive Oil – 3 tbsp
- Kosher Salt – ½ tsp
- Mortar & Pestle
- Baking Tray
- Baking Sheet
- Mixing Bowl
- Serving Plate
- Firstly preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Next peel and cut the sweet potatoes and rounds or squares into bite sized shape.
- Now take a large mixing bowl and into this add in the sweet potatoes, fresh thyme leaves, red pepper powder, kosher salt and olive oil.
- Now add the garlic cloves into a mortar & pestle and mince them finely.
- Now add this minced garlic to the sweet potato mixture and mix it all thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Now arrange the sweet potatoes in a single layer onto the baking sheet and place it over the baking dish.
- Place this on the top rack of the over as it will cook faster and roast well.
- Let them roast till they turn slightly brown which will take about 30-40 mins.
- Later take them out and once it warms down a little transfer it into a serving plate.
- This dish is also considered as one of the best things to eat after a workout as it restores the energy, tastes delicious and is also loaded with high vitamin and carbs content.
Spiced Salmon Kebab Recipe
Salmons are a rich source of protein and this makes it one of the best post workout foods to indulge in.
This is an extremely low calorie recipe and works great in restoring the energy levels as well as adds the much required protein content that is necessary for muscle building post workouts.
- Skinless Salmon Fillets – 4-5 pieces
- Freshly Chopped Oregano – 1 tbsp
- Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Thin Lemon Slices – 4-5 Pieces
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – ½ tsp
- Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
- Kosher Salt – ½ tsp
- Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
- Skewers – 4
- Small Mixing Bowl
- Serving Dish
- Firstly preheat your grill on a medium heat.
- Now take a small mixing bowl and into this add in the oregano, cumin powder, sesame seeds, kosher salt and the red pepper flakes.
- Mix this mixture well so that all the ingredients are well combined and keep this aside.
- Now start to add the salmon pieces into the skewer and add a slice of lemon after a piece of salmon.
- Thread them together and using an oil brush, brush them with olive oil.
- Now use the spice mixture that was prepared earlier and season it over the salmon kebabs and place it over the grill.
- Make sure that you keep turning the skewers over the grill occasionally.
- Let the salmon kebabs to cook over the medium grill for at least 6-8 mins or until the fish appears opaque throughout evenly.
- Once done take them off the grill and transfer it onto a serving dish.
- This is an excellent recipe and also considered as the best post workout snacks.
- This can be either consumed as a post workout breakfast or as a snack in the evening.
Few Important Points to Remember about Pre and Post Workout Nutrition:
- Always remember what you eat before and after your workout plays a key role in fueling your workout and increasing your energy levels throughout the workout regime.
- Post workout foods help in speeding up the muscle and tissue recovery process as well as prevent the body from any sort of workout injury.
- The two important food categories to be included in your pre workout and post workout diet is a good amount of carbohydrates and protein.
- These two help in maximizing your workouts and gives you the best results whether it is for body and muscle building, lean fitness or even for those weight loss goals.
- A good balance of carbs and protein in the pre workout and post workout routine also aids in reducing the muscle soreness which is one of the most common workout concerns.
- Apart from the above mentioned recipes another quick and easy way to add carbs and protein on the go for your pre and post workout nutrition is a handful of mix nuts. They are delicious in taste and are packed with protein and high nutritive content.
So now that you have gained all the knowledge about what to eat before and after a workout and also about the workout nutrition please make sure you get the much required energy and nutrition content post your rigorous workout regimes.
All of the above mentioned recipes are extremely healthy and helpful in building muscles and even repairing muscles post workout routines.
Do let us know which of the above mentioned recipes you tried and liked the most. We would love to hear from you!