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The best foods to eat before and after a workout

The best foods to eat before and after a workout
/ Jordi Salas / Moment / Getty Images

Fuel up for optimal results—and recovery!

Deciding what to eat before and after a workout can be confusing but when it comes to a workout snack, what you choose to eat is important. After all, the right foods before and after exercise give your body what it needs to prepare and recover from the exertion and helps makes you bigger, stronger, and faster.

Eating is essential to prevent muscle breakdown, replenish glycogen stores and ensure a speedy recovery and like a car that uses gas, your body burns carbohydrates for fuel, and you need those carbohydrates to give you the energy to power through that workout.

So, what are the best foods to eat before and after a workout? What follows is a pretty simple and easy-to-follow list of foods that many registered dietitians recommend.

Morning workout

Before a morning workout, eat:

A few crackers

½ banana

Orange juice




After your morning workout:

Eggs, 2 pieces of whole-grain toast, OJ

Oatmeal with berries and nuts, tall glass of milk

Whole-grain waffle with cottage cheese and berries on top



Midday workout

After your midday workout:

Salad with lean protein (chicken), beans and veggies, salad dressing

Sandwich with soup


Evening workout

Before your evening workout"

Mixed fruit bowl with yogurt and a few nuts

Low-fat or nonfat latte and a Kashi granola bar

Banana with peanut butter

Trail mix


After your evening work out:

Shrimp stir-fry, brown rice

Sweet potato, 4 oz. sliced steak, broccoli

1 cup penne pasta with 4 oz. chicken and spinach in oil



Avoid these types of foods before a workout:

Spicy foods

Broccoli or beans

High-fat foods

High-protein foods

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