Pre and Post Workout Fuel

Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, both are crucial to keep your body performing at its best. In this blog we will be focussing on how to fuel and replenish your body pre and post exercise to help maximise performance and improve recovery time. 


Before Exercise

  • Eating before exercise provides your body with the energy it needs to maximise your workout.
  • Aim to eat 2 hours before you exercise. 
  • CHOOSE easily digested, simple, healthy carbohydrates. These can take 30-90 mins to digest and absorb the energy needed for your workout.
  • Examples include wholegrain cereals with low fat or skimmed milk, wholewheat toast with boiled egg or jam, low fat/fat free yogurt, wholegrain pasta with a tomato-based sauce, brown rice, bananas and berries, sweet potato, apple with peanut butter, rice cakes and almond butter, handful of nuts and raisins or a smoothie.
  • AVOID saturated fats and healthy proteins. These take more time and effort to digest, taking blood and oxygen away from your muscles to your stomach instead.
  • HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Click here to read our recent post about hydration.


During Exercise

  • Keep your body hydrated with small, frequent, sips of water or an electrolyte drink to maintain hydration.
  • You do not need to eat during a workout that is for 1 hour or less.


After Exercise

  • Eating after exercise replaces nutrients lost during exercise, to help your recover, repair, rehydrate and build muscle.
  • Aim to eat 30-60mins after exercise.
  • CHOOSE a balanced meal containing high quality protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates.
  • Examples include chocolate milk, grilled chicken and roasted veg, tuna salad with wholegrain bread, cottage cheese and fruits, hummus and pitta, spinach and egg white omelette or a protein rich green smoothie.
  • Eating anti-inflammatory foods decreases recovery time. Examples include cacao, green tea, turmeric, ginger, bell and chilli peppers, beet juice, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.
  • AVOID hard to digest foods, low carbohydrate meals, foods full of sugar and/or saturated fats. Also avoid pre-packaged fitness shakes, although these may seem like he right thing to give your body they often contain unhealthy additives and lots of sugar.
  • HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Click here to read our recent post about hydration.


Whilst you should definitely pay attention to how you are fuelling your body pre and post exercise, it is more important to have an overall balanced diet every day. 

For more information and advice about diet and exercise we recommend the NHS website