Sometimes, figuring out what your body needs pre- or post-sweat session is as challenging as finishing 50 burpees. (Okay, maybe not that hard!)
It’s especially tricky because while there’s a basic formula—before a workout you need water and easily digested carbs; after you need water plus protein and carbs—everyone is different. Some people feel nauseous if they eat so much as a banana before a long run, for example, while others need to feel totally full before hitting the pavement.
We’ve got our own ideas for easy, effective pre- and post-workout foods you can experiment with. Another place to work? We ask all kinds of experts about how they eat on a regular basis, and who better to share the secrets of fitness fare than top trainers, themselves?
Here’s what 9 of our favorite fitness experts eat before and after their workouts. Follow their lead to figure out what works for you.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)
What Fitness Experts Eat Before and After Workouts
“I try not to eat anything less than an hour before a workout, and if I do, it’ll be something that is easily digestible like a green juice, a pureed soup, a shake, or just protein by itself without any carbs added to it, like a piece of chicken. After, I definitely have a protein source, whether it’s a salad with fresh chicken, sashimi, lentil mushroom soup, a shake, or beef jerky with an apple.”
“Almonds before and a hearty meal after.”
“Before a workout, I have granola or avocado. After a workout, it is usually more substantial like tacos.”
“Before, it depends on the time of day and how much time I have before the workout. I like fruit in the morning before my workouts. Midday, I can eat protein, like slices of chicken or eggs. Post workout: I love a good smoothie with protein and greens. My favorite proteins right now are pea and collagen.”
“I prefer training on an empty stomach, so I don’t each much prior. I’ll always have a non-caffeinated electrolyte drink before and during training. Immediately post-workout I always have a shake with plant-based protein powder and recovery proteins including Branched Chain Amino Acids and L-Glutamine (amino acid).”
“Usually nothing right before, maybe a handful of nuts if I need energy. If I practice yoga in the morning I always do this on an empty stomach. After: water, water and more water and then a green smoothie is my preference.”
“I eat my protein breakfast cake before every workout! It’s just amazing because it fuels me perfectly, tastes amazing, and is so easy to digest. I don’t ever have to worry about an upset stomach or bloating during my workout. I also feel so fueled and strong.”
“Depends on the time of day. I’m not big on shakes or anything like that. I will eat if I’m hungry.”