What to Eat Before and After a Workout

What to Eat Before and After a Workout

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Building Healthy Habits, Health Tips, Nutrition

Proper fueling before and after a workout is essential for optimal performance and recovery. What you eat can greatly impact your energy levels, endurance, and muscle recovery, which is why it’s important to have a solid game plan for your nutrition. In this article, we will discuss the best strategies for fueling and eating before and after a hard workout, including some healthy food ideas that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

First, let’s talk about what to eat before a workout. The timing and type of food you consume before exercising can greatly impact your performance. Ideally, you should aim to eat a meal containing carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats about 2-3 hours before your workout. This will give your body enough time to digest the food and convert it into energy for your workout.

When it comes to specific foods, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are your best bet. These foods release energy slowly and provide a steady supply of fuel for your workout. Some good options include oatmeal, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa. Protein is also an important nutrient before a workout because it helps to build and repair muscle tissue. Some good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes. Finally, healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and seeds are beneficial for providing long-lasting energy, reducing inflammation, and helping to absorb vitamins and minerals.

If you’re in a rush or don’t have time for a full meal, a pre-workout snack is a great alternative. Keep it light and easy to digest, like a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a small smoothie. It is also better to avoid high-fat, high-fiber, or heavily seasoned food before workout, as they may cause discomfort during your training.

Now let’s move on to post-workout nutrition. After a hard workout, your body is in a state of recovery and needs the right nutrients to replenish energy stores, repair muscle tissue, and reduce inflammation. Within the first 30 minutes after your workout, it’s important to consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein to start the recovery process. Carbohydrates help to replenish glycogen (energy) stores in the muscles, while protein helps to build and repair muscle tissue.

Good options for post-workout snacks include Greek yogurt with berries, a protein shake with fruit and nuts, or a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.   For a full meal, you can try grilled chicken or fish with a sweet potato and mixed vegetables. These meals will provide the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to help your body recover.  The overall content of your foods should be chosen based on your overall goals, but the general consensus is that you are looking for enough carbs and proteins to replenish and repair your muscles.  For example if you were looking to cut body fat% you would choose a leaner protein/carb/fat ratio such as a protein shake and melon combination.  If you are not too concerned about weight or looking to add weight, a turkey/cheese sandwich may be a great option.

Another important factor to consider is hydration. Drinking water and electrolyte-rich fluids before, during and after your workout is crucial to help replenish fluids lost during sweating, and to keep your body functioning properly. Fluids such as water, coconut water, or sports drinks, can replenish electrolytes that are lost during sweating.  Most people are surprised by the amount of water recommended, especially for active individuals who are producing sweat in their workouts or daily lives.  Most recommendations ask for 3 or more liters for men and 2.2 liters or more for women.

In summary, proper fueling before and after a workout is essential for optimal performance and recovery. Before a workout, aim to eat a meal or snack containing carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats about 2-3 hours before your workout. Good options include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats. After a workout, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein within the first 30 minutes to start the recovery process. Good options include Greek yogurt, a protein shake, grilled chicken, or fish with a sweet potato and mixed vegetables. Remember to also stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout by drinking water and electrolyte-rich fluids.

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I was very nervous about starting at a gym. Then I found Vaughan's, the trainers here are amazing! Any questions or... concerns are answered with knowledge and experience. I have found confidence in the trainers I work with! Always a happy and friendly environment, this place is the highlight of my week!read more
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Great find! A bit out of the way but worth the drive. Amazing trainers, great workouts that push me and create real... results. Love the different personalities that motivate and make me enjoy being there. Very welcoming, inviting staff. Nice to watch the horses in between sets.read more
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I went to Vaughan's Fitness after a painful year of arthritis in hopes to improve mobility and decrease the constant... pain I was feeling. Thanks to the specific exercises and stretches I began to feel less pain and now I'm pain free. I've enjoyed the improvements in my health so much I'm now working harder at strength training and it feels amazing both mentally and physically! I would highly recommend Vaughan's Fitness to anyone!read more
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The facility is spacious, clean and there is a good variety of equipment available. Having the riding ring attached... makes for a nice and unique atmosphere. Melissa has been a great motivator and just what we needed for our training. We appreciate she is flexible with our schedule and how intense the training should be for that week.read more
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I really enjoying all aspects of the gym including the trainers. In the last 3 years, I have had 3 trainers and they... all have been wonderful. With Jill leaving last month, my new trainer Catherine is also amazing. During my first session, she definitely challenged me and I enjoy her personality as well. Everyone at Vaughan's is very friendly and helpful. Even when I come to work out on my own, the staff are all helpful and I love the fact that it is such a small gym that during covid has made working out more enjoyable. Thank you Anne Whiteread more
Alisha Kerr
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I have been training at Vaughans for just over a few months now and I have had nothing but an incredible experience!... The trainers are super knowledgeable and extremely friendly making each session something to look forward to. If you are looking for a gym or a personal trainer this is most definitely the place to come!read more
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After years of training in a wonderful boutique gym in Montreal, I was looking for something similar when we moved to... the Fraser Valley and I found it at Vaughn's. Wonderful setting, great, well equipped gym with great people. Expert (and patient!) trainers helped me get back in the swing of my work outs. HIGHLY recommend them!read more
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Great people here! Felt so accomplished after each session. Would definitely recommend 😊
Joseph Maitland
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So far it has been a great experience and no complaints. Staff is knowledgable, hardworking and honest. If they don't... know the answer to one of my questions they say so and find the answer instead of giving bad advice.The facility is clean, in a gorgeous area overlooking the riding arena and the would equipment is in good order. Keep it up as I can see why they are successful.read more
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The team at Vaughan's Fitness is beyond exceptional. They are talented, knowledgeable and work incredibly hard to help... you achieve your goals. Having an education in Kinesiology elevates the training experience as they are not only able to train you safely but also efficiently. I would recommend Jarid and his team to anyone!read more
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I cannot say enough good things about my experience working out with the team at Vaughn fitness. Marissa has gone above... and beyond to create a program that fits my needs and the results have been amazing. I would definitely recommend Jarid and his world class team to anyone.read more
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I love this place. Plenty of equipment and very clean. I appreciate the staff, as they work very hard to help you... achieve your goals. I also like that it is family run - makes the experience personal.read more
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Vaughan’s fitness is AMAZING! The staff are so friendly, professional and motivating. The facility is clean and... beautiful, also located on beautiful grounds. Jarid is a wonderful owner, he replies promptly to emails and is super excited to get clients what they want and need. I would absolutely never go another personal training facility because at Vaughan’s, I truly feel like I’m family. Everyone knows your name, they’re invested in your fitness goals and take an active role in learning more about you. This facility and it’s members and staff are legit. They’re amazing and I would HIGHLY recommend Vaughan’s fitness to anyone looking to get in shape and achieve their fitness goals. I’ve trained with Allysia, Alyssa, Alex and Ally and they’re all amazing! It’s also a super non-threatening environment. I’ve found with going to other gyms before it can be super intimidating when you don’t know all the machines are what exercises to do, but here they explain everything, it’s non-judgemental, and everyone roots for you. 10/10 would recommend.read more
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A welcoming, professionally developed and evidently knowledgeable environment was the initial impression I observed... from Vaughan’s Fitness. One year later, I can confidently state that anyone’s goals are achievable with the dedication and support offered at Vaughan’s Fitness. In fact, you’ll enjoy surpassing them. Previously I struggle with appropriate workouts, nutritional guidance, and minor injuries. Initially I debated the decision of inquiring into personal trainers but grateful I chose to. Over the last year, Jarid has been genuinely accommodating to my chaotic schedule. Allowing me the opportunity of working parallel with several trainers who are immensely supportive. They are as interested in your wellbeing and goals as they are fun, motivating and personable.read more
Barinder Singh
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21:59 10 Feb 20
I love going to this place. Friendly staff, great environment. If you are looking for a nice and quiet place to workout... and for personal training, I would definitely recommend Vaughan’s Fitness.read more
Drako 89
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Love how the training is unique to my health needs. Intelligent and compassionate trainers. Great atmosphere.
Hannah Rolfe
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The trainers and atmosphere at Vaughan's Fitness are top tier. With tailored personal training, an uplifting team and... upbeat environment Jarid has curated an unparalleled training experience. Both myself and my coworkers are members and have seen tangible results within weeks. Highly recommend!read more
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I've been coming to VF for just under 2 years. I do a lot of active, bike and hike, travel and my sessions here ensure... that I'm able to enjoy my trips to the fullest. The trainers are all so knowledgeable, and it's always such a friendly and welcoming place to work out! I miss it when I'm away.read more
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If you’re like me you have been humming and hawing about doing this for a long time. You are looking at websites,... getting all ready to go for it only to say to yourself “maybe later”. I have done the big gym thing before and it’s not my cup of tea, main reasons being that I can never decide what equipment I should use or exercises to do, what areas I need to focus on and most importantly how to perform every exercise properly as to not injure myself. I’m one that needs to just show up to the gym, be told what exercises I am doing and be guided through those exercises in a manner that I won’t injure myself, but also with the intent to achieve the greatest result. I have now been a member at Vaughan’s for over a year and can’t say enough about it. First off this testimonial is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I work out three times per week and have worked with the same two trainers the entire time, Alyssa and Jazmin. I have also on occasion had the fortune of working with some of the other trainers, while mine were on holidays. Marissa, Allyshia, Julianne and Tyler have all been fabulous and a pleasure to work with. This gym is nothing like the ‘big box chain style gyms’. There is no need to feel intimidated and there is every age and body type working out here. If however, you are looking for yoga or spin classes this is not the gym for you. You get to know everyone from the trainers along with many of the other members. It is without a doubt something I look forward to doing each and every time and that’s something I never thought I would hear myself say as I have always hated the gymJarid Vaughn has created an incredible environment here and joining his gym is one of the best things I have ever done. I turned 50 when I first joined and I while I eat fairly well, I was a bit heavier than I wanted to be, had aches and pains here and there and just generally wanted to feel healthier and feel better about myself. I have achieved all that and then some. I never have to weigh myself because I can see the changes. I can easily say that I am in the best physical shape of my life and while I may still have the odd ache and pain (I am over 50 after all), so many of the other issues I was having for years have all disappeared. My wife has now joined Vaugn’s one day per week and she too is really enjoying it. If you are hesitating on whether or not to join, I hope I have at least convinced you to contact Jarid and set up a consultation. Then you can stop doing your endless research on the internet and making excuses. Rob Koremanread more
Sarah Ortis
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19:51 04 Dec 19
If you have any sort of fitness goals, go to Vaughan’s Fitness. The first time I trained with Vaughan’s I needed to get... core strength to fix a back injury, and the second time was to tone up and develop over all body strength. I had very noticeable results after only a couple weeks of training and stayed training for 6+ months because I got so much out of it. My back pain has never returned and am now in great shape. The team at Vaughan’s are very knowledgeable and skilled.I learned so much about effective exercises with proper form. The sessions are tailored to your personal goals and are broken up between various types of exercises which makes each session new, interesting, and enjoyable. I cannot recommend Vaughan’s enough. They are awesome and I am so grateful for them.read more
Stephanie Ius
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Vaughan's fitness is professional, knowledgeable and friendly. The team there is amazing, and the training is the best... I've had. I am very happy with the results and would highly recommend to anyone looking for a gym!read more
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Jes
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My husband and I wanted to start going to the gym about a year ago and I am very happy we chose Vaughn's Fitness. The... staff are very well trained, friendly and accommodating. Thanks to Jarid and the staff, we had a good year and will be continuing.read more
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