Prevea Health

Fuel for Your Body


Fuel before You Exercise

When should you eat before exercising? Eating too close to your workout could result in GI issues. Eating too early may result in loss of energy toward the end of your workout. Every athlete is different. Therefore, it is important to individually plan your food intake in terms of when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat before you exercise.

Tips for fueling your body before you exercise:
  • Eat one to four hours before to your workout
  • If you exercise in the morning for less than 60 minutes, you may skip your pre-workout snack
  • Eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein, such as toast or half of a bagel with peanut butter or half of a protein bar
  • Don't forget fluids. Sports drinks, water or an instant breakfast drink can give you the carbohydrates and small amount of protein you need for your workout
  • Experiment with foods and drinks during your training. Practice! Figure out what works best to boost your energy

Pre-Workout Food and Beverage Examples

2 to 4 hours before your workout:
  • Peanut butter and honey on toast with a sports drink
  • Fruit and yogurt smoothie with a granola bar
  • Turkey and Swiss sandwich with fruit and a sports drink
  • Low-fat cottage cheese, grapes and apple butter on crackers

30 to 60 minutes before your workout: 
  • Sports drink or water
  • Piece of fruit
  • Sports gel, gummies or sports bar
  • Granola bar and sports drink or water
  • Toast with honey and water

Refuel after Your Workout

Refueling after your workout is one of the most important ways to reduce soreness and keep your energy up. Within 30 minutes after a hard or long workout—usually an hour and a half or more—you should have a snack or meal with a combination of carbohydrates and protein. This will start to rebuild the muscle you just broke down and start to restore energy within the body. You may eat a smaller amount of the same combination up to one hour after a less intense workout.

Fluid replacement during and after your run or workout is essential. Sweating results in lost sodium and potassium (electrolytes) from your body. An easy way to see how much fluid you lose during exercises is to weigh yourself before and after exercise. You should replenish what you lost during your run or workout.

Post-Workout (Recovery) Food and Beverage Examples
  • Recovery Fluids 
  • Sports drinks or sports water
  • Chocolate milk

Recovery Snacks
  • Smoothie made with frozen fruit, milk and yogurt
  • Sports drink and a sports bar
  • Graham crackers with peanut butter, banana and chocolate milk
  • Recovery Meals 
  • Whole wheat pita sandwich with turkey, Swiss cheese and vegetables; pretzels and low-fat milk
  • Rice bowl with beans, chicken, cheese, salsa and vegetables; whole grain tortilla chips and a sports drink
  • Stir fry with lean steak, broccoli, assorted peppers and carrots; brown rice and low-fat milk