What Should I Eat Before a Workout?

What Should I Eat Before a Workout?

Emma Christensen
Apr 17, 2012

Q: I just joined a gym by my office and like to exercise after I work. What is something I can bring to eat before my workout and possibly even hold me over until the next morning? A pre-workout snack or a small dinner, which is better?

Sent by Carrie

Editor: With the caveat that I'm not a nutritionist or health expert by any means, my response would be "both." If you're heading into your workout after a long day at the office, you need a little energy to make sure you aren't too tired to really get the most out of your exercise session. And afterwards, you need something to make sure you don't crash. Or at least that's how my body seems to work!

I'd recommend a small snack like a granola bar or a handful of trail mix before the workout and a larger meal afterwards. If you don't have time to cook or prefer something lighter in the evenings, things like smoothies or salads are satisfying choices (and can be brought to work and kept in the fridge all day). Make-ahead freezer meals are also great for being able to pop something in the microwave the minute you walk in the door!

Here are a few recipe round-ups to give you some snack and meal inspiration:

Food on the Go: Granola Bars and Other Quick Snacks
Sandwiches, Salads, and Soups: 15 Hearty Homemade Lunches
Hearty Sauces & Meatballs: 11 Dishes that Freeze Well

Readers, what do you suggest?

Related: 15 Portable and Delicious Weekday Breakfast Baked Goods

(Image: Flickr member Flickr username licensed under Creative Commons)

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