Most people know that working out is an important part of being healthy and the best way to get into shape. What many people don't know is that the food we put into our bodies before and after we work out is just as important. Just because you are running or lifting weights six days a week does not mean you'll see the results you're hoping for without a proper meal plan. Planning pre and post workout meals are a crucial step that can easily change the results of your hard work. 


According to Healthline, the timing of your pre-workout meal is extremely important. The closer you are to your workout, the smaller your meal should be. Eating 2-3 hours before your workout allows for a larger meal, but the closer you get to exercising, the more limited your meals become. 

The most important nutrients you should be putting in your body before a workout are carbs. This is because your body uses the glucose from carbs as fuel, giving you the most power while training. Try not to consume too much fat before your workout, save it for after. Here is a list of snacks that are good to consume before working out:

1) Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)

Peanut butter is an easy energy booster, and provides you with a range benefits. Try to stick to the natural stuff, you'll avoid the unnecessary additives that have no nutritional value. 

2) Bananas

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Bananas are a great source of carbs, giving you the energy you need for a good workout. Tossing one into a smoothie or putting one on toast is the perfect pre-workout go-to snack. 

3) Whole Grain Toast

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In general, whole grains are super important to add to your diet. Like the other pre-workout foods, whole grains give you a great boost of energy, giving your muscles the fuel that they need to complete a successful workout.

4) Almonds

Almonds are a good pre-workout snack especially for those who don't want to eat a large meal before hand. Eating a serving or two of almonds before heading to the gym will give you enough energy without filling you up. 


Depriving your body of nutrients after a workout is a big no-no. After a workout, our muscles are in need of nutrients in order to stay strong and healthy, and especially if you want them to grow. The biggest mistake I have personally made has been not eating or drinking anything after working out my muscles. It is suggested that you eat a post-workout meal within 45 minutes of your workout to get the most benefits. 

Post-workout meals should consist of a high volume of protein. Body builders invest a lot of money into protein powder because it is an essential nutrient for our muscles after a workout. It can greatly improve muscle recovery as well as increase muscle mass. Here is a list of foods that are high in protein for your post-workout meal:

1) Turkey

Turkey is very low in fat and high in protein, making it a very healthy and beneficial food choice. Switch out pork or beef for turkey and your body will definitely thank you.

2) Eggs

Chelsea Barbee

Eggs are a perfect and easy source of protein that you can add to any of your meals throughout the day. Add it to your salads, throw it on some toast, cook some fried rice. Whatever you do, eggs are the best. 

3) Tuna

Tuna is very high in protein, and is also known to have many other healthy properties. Whether you're eating it sushi-grade, out of a can, or on the grill, tuna is a must-have meat for your diet. 

4) Salmon

Salmon is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and is a great source of protein. Add some pesto to your salmon and it will become your go-to meal.

What is important to remember is that you do not want to deprive yourself of any specific nutrient before or after a workout. Carbs, fats, and proteins are all important for your health and your growth. Proteins are essential for your muscles after a workout, but carbs and fats are just as important for your body. If you are engaging in high intensity training such as cardio, balancing your carbs, fats, and proteins is key. Many coaches and trainers say to eat pizza after a high intensity workout because it contains all the nutrients you'll need for your body to recover. 

I have only touched upon the basics of this topic, so I encourage you to do more research and find out what works best for your body. The more you know, the better you can invest in a healthy and confident lifestyle.