Best Foods for Before & After Training

Evan Lynch – Sports Nutritionist

We hear all sorts of things in relation to exercise nutrition, what we should be doing, what we shouldn’t be doing and what we could do better, it’s all made out to be very complex, let’s simplify it here and give you the brass tax for pre & post workout nutrition. Before I do that I just want to give you a brief explanation as to why these foods are on the list, knowing why is just as important as knowing what to do when it comes to decisions around nutrition or performance.

When we are looking at pre training, we want to get carbohydrates in the door in order to provide you with carbohydrate availability, this is important for a few reasons. When you have low glycogen stores (storage form of carbs) or low blood sugar, your performance drops immensely and everything feels harder. On top of this, when we eat carbs, the metabolic responses that occur with this lead to reductions in muscle losses and set you up for better recovery. 
When we are looking at post training, we simply want to get you to refill your glycogen tank ASAP, getting carbs in the door quickly leads to faster glycogen repletion & better recovery profiles, meaning you get more from your session and are more ready for your next session.

So let’s take a look at 5 foods for before & after:

Before (approx. 60mins beforehand)
These suggestions give you 30-40g carbs 60 mins before training, they are low fibre & low fat so should not cause any tummy problems.

  1. Large banana (30g carbs)
  2. 2 medjool dates (40g carbs)
  3. Slice white toast with jam (30g carbs)
  4. 40g bowl cereal with milk (40g carbs)
  5. Lucozade sport 500ml (30g)

Post training (within 20mins)
These suggestions all offer rapidly digested carbs and proteins, are all really light options and offer up something of a treat too – I like to make my treats productive!

  1. 250ml Mooju (25g carbs & 10g protein)
  2. Bagel with nut butter (50g carbs & 15g protein)
  3. Bowl cereal with a scoop of whey (40g carbs + 30g protein)
  4. Flat white + 3 squares dark chocolate (35g carbs + 10g protein)
  5. Handful dried fruit + mixed nuts (40g carbs + 10g protein)

For more information or for help managing your sports nutrition, feel free to get in touch at or follow me on Instagram @elynchfitnut

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