Fueling Your Workout the Healthy Way
by Yvonne So
Knowing what to eat before, during and after a workout session is important since it helps us to stay fueled, energized and hydrated. Remember that eating the right foods at the right time can optimize your performance. Plan your meals accordingly and try to eat whole foods when you can! The following tips might be helpful before, during and after your workout or races.
Pre Workout: Fuel should mainly be easy to digest carbohydrates to maximize muscle carbohydrate stores and should be consumed 1-2 hours prior to workout.
Food Ideas for Fast Energy:
Cereal with milk
Whole grain toast with Jam
During Workout: A sports drink containing carbohydrates can be used to replenish muscle stores and give an energy boost! Drink 2-3 cups of fluid every hour during work out. Avoid losing more than 1-2% of your body weight.
Ideas to Refuel:
Other Sports Drinks
After Workout: Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and moderate in both protein and fat within 2 hours after workout for optimal recovery
Food Ideas for Strong Recovery
Vegetable omelet & toast
Pasta & grilled chicken
Yogurt & Trail mix
Low-fat Chocolate Milk
Proper hydration starts hours before you warm-up, occurs during workout and ends hours after you
Pre Workout: Drink 5-7ml/kg 4 hours before workout.
Tip: Carry a refillable water bottle with you.
During Workout: Again, drink 0.4 - 0.8 ml of fluid every hour. Aim to lose no more than 1-2% of your
Tip: Take frequent breaks during workout.
Post Workout: For optimal recovery, drink 1.5 L for every kg of body weight lost.
Tip: Eat something with sodium to help you retain the fluid you drink, and choose foods that have water in them like fruit, vegetables, or yogurt
Kollman, G., Rizzo, N and So, Y. Nutrition for Optimal Athletic Performance. New York: Teachers
College, Columbia University, 2013.
Cybex Fitness. “Post Workout Fuel For Maintaining Muscles”. 4th Dec 2013. Available at: