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Food for Before and After a Workout

June 30, 2021 08:10 IST

You must not eat immediately before or after a workout, advises Utsav Ghosh, fitness entrepreneur, founder of Transformation for Good.
There must be at least a 30-minute break both, before and after, where you don't eat anything.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mikhail Nilov/

A common misconception about working out and losing weight is that the more you eat, the less you lose. This is not true at all.

The truth is that your body needs to eat to stay fit.

People who starve themselves while they work out often find themselves demotivated, irritable, and weak.

This is because the body fails to get enough nutrients to aid muscle recovery.

Workouts are supposed to be fun and make you feel light and happy instead of tired and irritable.

During a weight-loss session or a workout, mindful eating is much more preferable than starvation.

Before a workout, the body needs fuel to exercise and therefore, it is recommended to eat some protein and more carbohydrates before workouts.

Whereas, after a workout, the body needs to recharge, repair, and replenish.

Therefore, a mixture of high protein and complex carbohydrates is recommended.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you must not eat immediately before or after a workout. There must be at least a 30-minute break both, before and after, where you don't eat anything.

Here are the 10 foods to include in your pre and post-workout meals:

1. Eggs

Eggs are a big protein source and contain amino acids that help in repairing muscles.

Soft boiled scrambled or sunny side up eggs are preferable for pre-workout meals because they are easy to digest. Whereas a hard-boiled egg is better as a post-workout meal.

2. Bananas

Bananas are full of potassium and carbs that help in maintaining muscles and give a great pre-workout boost.

They are easy to digest and light on the body. Bananas are also a source of antioxidants.

3. Granola

Granola is packed with sugar and carbs, which gives you instant energy due to its quick digestion.

Granola is only ideal for weight loss when eaten in moderation. It is great pre-workout food.

4. Whole wheat toast with peanut butter

Whole wheat toast is a big source of carbs and gives a lot of energy to the muscles.

Peanut butter is rich in protein, it makes the stomach full and helps in weight loss when eaten in the right amount. It is preferable before a workout.

5. A smoothie

Smoothies are a quick solution to the hassle of preparing a meal.

They give a quick boost and you can whip it up in minutes and in whatever flavour you want.

Smoothies give a boost to the body without making you feel heavy. They are a great pre-workout meal and help in replenishment post workout as well.

6. Fish

Fishes rich in Omega 3 are rich in protein and help in muscle recovery after a workout.

They also help with soreness and muscle swelling.

Eating a low-fat fish after a workout with a side of vegetables is perfect for a post-workout meal.

7. Chicken

Chicken is a big source of protein. It is also rich in vitamin B and helps in muscle recovery.

Chicken breast with rice, which contains complex carbs and vegetables is a go-to meal after a workout.

8. Chia seed pudding

Chia seeds are rich in protein and help in weight loss. They help in the proper functioning of muscles and muscle recovery.

Chia seeds are also a great way for the body to get fibre and they help in digestion. They are great as a post-workout meal.

9. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a comforting, healthy snack to eat after a workout.

It is very easy to cook and gives your body carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. They are also low in calorie content and can be consumed both pre and post-workout.

10. Sweet potatoes

They are rich in nutrients and carbs. They help in recovering the glycogen stores of the body after a workout.

They are rich in potassium and boost immunity as well. They can be consumed after a workout or before as they help in focusing and delaying soreness and fatigue.

The pre and post-workout meals are of extreme importance in a workout regime. Another important and non-negotiable part of workouts is hydrating.

Water is essential for life and it should be consumed pre, post, and during a workout.

It should be consumed 30 minutes before the workout and not excessively.

After a workout, water helps in bringing the body back to its normal temperature and regulates the water lost in sweating.

Drinking water during the workout helps in preventing dehydration.

Another beverage that you can consider before workouts for a quick boost is coffee. It gives energy and a caffeine boost and should be consumed 30 minutes before workouts.