Best Foods Before and After a Workout


US News Health

To get the most out of your workouts, it is important to eat the proper foods!

Most people struggle with maintaining a healthy diet and a consistent exercise routine. Did you know the way you eat effects the progress you make at the gym?  Everyone wants to look good and feel strong, but spending all the time in the world exercising will not make a difference if there is no consistent, healthy diet in place.  If you are looking to make awesome “gains” and get fitter than ever before, here are some of the best before and after meals for your workout:

Before and After an Intense Cardio Session:

“The day before a track meet I always eat pasta so that I can carb up to make sure I have enough energy for the upcoming event,” freshman, Isabel Jaen said

This colorful fruit salad is guaranteed to fuel you throughout your workout!

Before: A single piece of fruit such as an orange, apple or a banana with some yogurt can help you fuel up for an intense cardio session.  This snack is composed of 75% carbs and will give you the most energy for your workout!

Turkey wraps with veggies can double as a snack or meal.

After: Half a turkey wrap with veggies is definitely one of the highest rated post cardio snacks.  This snack is both tasty and has a 3-to-1 carb to protein ratio!  Post cardio snacks should have about 250-350 calories.

Before and After Strength Training Session: 

“I workout all the time and I highly recommend supplements such as protein shakes.  Protein is a vital nutrient for anyone trying to get big.  Everyday when I get back from the gym I have a protein shake and do my homework,” sophomore Adrian Flores said

Steel cut oats can be a little plain but adding different fruits changes the flavor every time!

Before: For strength training, it is ideal to have a 40-40-20 carb-protein-fat ratio.  Since that may be a little hard to remember, just know that steel cut oats make an excellent pre-workout snack. Oats digest slowly and keep energy levels consistent during a workout, making it the the optimal snack.

Avocado toast with scrambled eggs follows the 40-40-20 ratio.

After: It is a common misconception that protein is essential after lifting weights. It is important to let the body settle down after a workout and eat a carbohydrate based snack instead of opting for protein. A really fun post workout snack is avocado toast with scrambled eggs.

Before and After Flexibility Exercises (yoga, pilates etc.)

Flexibility exercises help prepare the muscles for athletic activity and are usually practiced on rest days.

Almonds are one of the best foods for you because not only do they fuel workouts, they also help relieve stress!

Before:  A handful of almonds is really all you need to help boost your energy before a class.  Almonds contain vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium, all of which give the body stamina for those hard poses!

Hummus can be paired with pita bread, crackers and veggies.

After: For a mid-afternoon exercise session, hummus with celery or crackers is an easy and tasty snack. Since flexibility exercises do not burn nearly as many calories as cardiovascular exercise, it is important not to overeat!

These snacks are just the beginning of a world of unexplored possibilities.  If you just can’t seem to make your next fitness goal, substitute the Doritos for healthier snacks and watch yourself become fitter than ever!