If you want to get the most from your workouts, your body needs the right fuel both before and after breaking a sweat.
Proper meals and snacks can give you the energy and nutrients you need to keep your body in tip-top shape.
Read on to learn the foods you should be eating to reap the rewards of each training session.
Best foods to eat before a workout
Before working out, eating something with carbs and protein is ideal.
At this time, you should stay away from foods that are high in fibre, since fibre takes longer to digest and could cause stomach discomfort.
If you haven’t eaten a meal in a few hours, aim to squeeze in a small snack one hour before your workout.
Below are some of the best foods to eat before your sweat session to give you a burst of energy.
This fruit has an adequate amount of carbs to give you fuel without weighing you down.
Bananas are easy to digest and a perfect snack before a workout. If you like to exercise first thing in the morning, try eating half a banana for a quick energy boost.
Additionally, bananas are famously known to be a good source of potassium, which can help prevent muscle cramps.
2. Peanut butter
Peanut butter is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles.
It's also a versatile food which adds flavour to a variety of dishes.
You can add a spoonful of peanut butter to a smoothie, slather it on apple slices or a banana, or spread it on a piece of toast.
3. Turkey sandwich
A simple turkey sandwich is a great source of protein and carbohydrates.
Depending on the length and intensity of your workout, as well as when your last meal was, you can eat a whole sandwich or just a half before a workout.
Whole-grain or wheat bread is always a good choice, and you can give your sandwich an extra dose of protein with a slice of cheese.
If you’re eating a sandwich as one of your primary meals, add on a piece of fruit and some low-fat chocolate milk for a variety of nutrients.
Yogurt, especially greek yogurt, is packed with protein and is easy to digest before a workout.
This is a great option for people who find it hard to eat something before a morning workout, since it’s fast and light.
Flavoured yogurt is often packed with sugar, so it's best stick to plain. Pro tip? Add in some fruit and granola to bulk it up.
Best foods to eat after a workout
Similar to how you need calories and nutrients before training, your muscles need food after a workout to recover.
Try to eat a meal within two hours of working out, or have a snack with both protein and carbs.
If you don’t already, add quinoa to your weekly meal prep.
This whole grain is not only a source of complex carbs, but it also has protein.
Add vegetables and lean protein to a bed of quinoa for a complete meal.
Want to know something even better? This easy-to-digest grain is also super versatile and quick to make.
Smoothies are a great post-workout snack because they can pack a ton of protein while still tasting delicious.
Adding greek yogurt or protein powder is an excellent way to add additional protein to your smoothie.
Tossing in a carb-heavy item, such as banana or oats, will help your muscles recover after a workout.
Moreover, smoothies are easy to tailor to your personal tastes and have endless flavour combinations.
3. Scrambled eggs
Just like smoothies, egg scrambles are a great meal that can be made using a combination of ingredients you love.
Eggs bring protein to your meal, so try adding some sweet potatoes for complex carbs and or spinach for additional vitamins.
Complete your scramble with your favourite vegetables and seasonings.
Oatmeal has whole-grain carbs your body uses to refuel after a workout.
You can make a hot bowl of oatmeal and top it with yogurt or fruit, or prepare overnight oats using ingredients like chia seeds, milk and protein powder.
Baked oatmeal is another make-ahead option using your favourite fruits and nuts.
The bottom line
To see the benefits of your hard work, it's important to properly fuel your body both before and after a workout.