What to Eat Before and After Working Out (and a fantastic college discount!)

When trying to get fit, your diet is just as important as exercise, if not more.  The two go hand in hand.  A great workout routine coupled with a poor diet will not get you very far.  Let’s zoom in and explore the foods you should eat before and after your workout.


Think of your body as a car; food acts as gasoline to keep you going.  By ingesting the right foods, you set your body up for a successful workout.  Timing also plays a role in nutrition.  Avoid eating a full meal directly before a workout.  If you must, eat a light snack 5-10 minutes prior to exercise, something under 100 calories.  Ideally, you should consume a meal an hour and a half to two hours before a workout.  The meal should be light so it doesn’t drag you down during a workout.  Keep in mind that different foods take different amounts of time to digest, so you want foods that will digest rather quickly.  Some suggestions:

-Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas


-Greek yogurt with granola and cinnamon

-Oatmeal with fresh fruit

After a workout, you have a small window of time to ingest and replenish the proper nutrients.  Between 20 and 60 minutes after your workout is when your meal should be consumed.  Bringing prepared food to the gym in a bag may be a good option.  Also, protein shakes come in handy when you don’t have much time.  It will probably take too long to prepare a meal at home after a workout.  You may miss the time frame.  Here are some suggestions for post-workout meals:

-Grilled chicken and mixed vegetables

-Salmon with sweet potato

-Turkey and white American cheese on 9-grain wheat bread

Changing your diet comes as a challenge to most people, myself included.  I tend to fall in and out of a steady healthy diet.  Sometimes, you only have certain options, especially in a college dining hall.  Make wise choices and think about your goals before everything you eat.  Check out my upcoming post, “the cheat meal,” for more nutrition tips.  With a student ID and Campus Clipper coupon, you can walk into the Garden of Eden Marketplace and receive a special discount on healthy groceries.  Stock up!


Joey Silver, University of Delaware. Check out my Twitter!

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