What should you eat before your workout to fuel your body for optimum performance, and what should you eat after your workout to recharge? Well, the truth is, everyone’s different. Some people do well fasting. Others (depending on the type of exercise) need to eat before and after. So, to be clear, the answer to: do you need pre and post workout snacks depends on the person!
But first, you must know that pre and post workout snacks are not a one-size-fits-all deal. Everyone’s digestion and internal clocks are different. The amount of energy you have during your workout often depends on a number of things such as when you eat, how much you eat, and how long before your workout you eat… and again, everyone is different.
Some studies show that it’s ideal to have protein before your workout and complex carbs after. This is interesting, because it is contrary to popular belief. It used to be the opposite.
A small lean protein snack is said to be beneficial before a workout because it takes longer to digest. As a result, your blood sugar won’t crash mid-workout, like it might do if you had a snack high in carbohydrates.
An example of a good protein snack would be raw almonds, a protein shake, lean meat or tempeh, or half of a protein bar. While everyone is different based on the amount of calories you can consume in a day, I recommend sticking to around 100-200 calories for your pre-workout snack.
Studies show that it’s best to have complex carbs – something higher in glucose level – and some protein post workout to level out blood sugar and replenish your muscles. A good example of a snack like this would be red fruits or berries and turkey slices. Or our fun carrot cake bites.
Remember, these are general guidelines. Everybody is different, and we all have different needs. You may respond better to certain foods before or after your workout, so experiment with different snacks to see what works best for you. For more information about diet phasing, pre and post workout meals, and ending the diet roller coaster, check out the 131 Method.