Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

Eating for Pre- and Post-Workout Recovery.

Coach Haylee Colannino

Do you wake up and workout with us at 5am or 6am without eating before? If the answer to this is yes, let’s take a second to think about what’s going on.

If we are sleeping for 7-10 hours per night, we are waking up in a fasted state. Would you go 7-10 hours during the day without eating? I don’t think so.

That being said, before your early AM workout your body needs fuel!

Do you workout at night after work? Same deal! If you have not eaten since lunch around 12-1pm your body is still in need of a snack to replenish those stores.


The Goals of Nutrition before Exercise:

  • Consume a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal before training. This will replenish muscle stores, eliminate workout jitters and fatigue.
  • Include protein in small amounts before your workout. Protein helps build muscles and repair tissue.


So what do I eat you ask?


  • 3-4 Hours prior – Keep me full


    • Banana/apple + 1 tbsp of Nut butter
    • Greek yogurt + berries and granola
    • Oatmeal + fruit + Nut butter
    • Eggs + whole wheat toast
    • Low-fat cottage cheese + fruit


  • 30-60 minutes prior – easy to digest


    • Fruit
    • Toast + Jam and or nut butter
    • Handfuls of cereal


Take aways:

  • Practice! You will learn by experimenting what works best for YOU pre-workout
  • Fuel your body early with easily digestible carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages prior to training.


Why is recovery so important?

Let’s take a second to think about what we are doing to our bodies. Between the medicine ball slams, TRX rows, and barbell squats we are putting a lot of wear and tear on our muscles. In order to get the most bang for our buck with these workouts, we need to be smart nutritionally.


The goals of Nutrition Recovery:

  • Replace fuel (carbohydrates) utilized by the muscles during a training session – consume a meal or snack within an hour of the training session
  • Restore fluid (H2O) being lost through sweat. Hydration is key to ensuring proper cell and muscular function.
  • Repair muscles and muscle tissue by eating 15-25 grams of protein post workout.


What do I eat?

  • Sandwich or wrap with whole grain bread + turkey + spinach + a fruit bowl
  • Smoothie
  • Lean meat/tofu veggie stir fry
  • Eggs + egg whites + veggies + beans + whole grain toast
  • Greek yogurt + fruit



  • Recovery nutrition and hydration are important before and after exercise
  • Plan ahead and keep recovery fuel on hand
  • If you do not have an appetite before or immediately following a training session choose liquids (e.g. smoothie) or start with small snacks that contribute to your recovery goals.


Mohr CR. Timing your pre- and post-workout nutrition. Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN). 2017.

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