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Fuel Up: The Best Foods to Eat Before & After a Workout

posted in Health & Fitness
02/23/2014
  • Before Your Workout
Your focus should be on providing your body with the energy it needs through foods rich in carbs. At the same time, you’ll want to keep it relatively bland and avoid high-fiber foods that will cause you discomfort later. 
Finally, don’t forget to drink lots of water.
    Before Your Workout
    Your focus should be on providing your body with the energy it needs through foods rich in carbs. At the same time, you’ll want to keep it relatively bland and avoid high-fiber foods that will cause you discomfort later.
    Finally, don’t forget to drink lots of water.
  • Healthy Smoothie

Making a smoothie allows you to quickly and easily make something with whatever ingredients you have on hand. And since one of the most important considerations when choosing a pre-workout snack is finding something that will sit well with you.
    Healthy Smoothie

    Making a smoothie allows you to quickly and easily make something with whatever ingredients you have on hand. And since one of the most important considerations when choosing a pre-workout snack is finding something that will sit well with you.
  • Energy Bars

When you’re going to be exerting yourself, it’s important to eat healthy carbs for energy, but a little fruit can give you a quick energy boost, too. That’s why so many energy bars combine the two.
    Energy Bars

    When you’re going to be exerting yourself, it’s important to eat healthy carbs for energy, but a little fruit can give you a quick energy boost, too. That’s why so many energy bars combine the two.
  • Yogurt and Fruit

Lots of breakfasts are dairy-based, but all that milk can make you feel a little queasy when you hit the gym. Yogurt can sit better with many people, especially those who have trouble with lactose. Flavored brands can be high in sugar, though.
    Yogurt and Fruit

    Lots of breakfasts are dairy-based, but all that milk can make you feel a little queasy when you hit the gym. Yogurt can sit better with many people, especially those who have trouble with lactose. Flavored brands can be high in sugar, though.
  • Bagel with Jam

If you’re working out in the morning, it’s imperative that you eat a light breakfast first, especially if you’re planning to push yourself.  A bagel is a perfect our body way to give your body the energy it needs without feeling like you’ve got a brick in your stomach.
    Bagel with Jam

    If you’re working out in the morning, it’s imperative that you eat a light breakfast first, especially if you’re planning to push yourself. A bagel is a perfect our body way to give your body the energy it needs without feeling like you’ve got a brick in your stomach.
  • Oatmeal

Carbs have become a dirty word over the last decade, but you need carbs for energy. It’s important to make sure they’re healthy carbs and oatmeal is one of the healthiest carbs around. Make a quick bowl and sweeten lightly if you’re headed out the door quickly.
    Oatmeal

    Carbs have become a dirty word over the last decade, but you need carbs for energy. It’s important to make sure they’re healthy carbs and oatmeal is one of the healthiest carbs around. Make a quick bowl and sweeten lightly if you’re headed out the door quickly.
  • Pasta with a Light Sauce

If you played sports as a kid, your coach may have advised you to load up on tons of pasta on game day for energy. That thinking is a little out of date, but it’s still ok to have a moderate portion of pasta a few hours prior to competition.
    Pasta with a Light Sauce

    If you played sports as a kid, your coach may have advised you to load up on tons of pasta on game day for energy. That thinking is a little out of date, but it’s still ok to have a moderate portion of pasta a few hours prior to competition.
  • Whole Grain Toast with Cheese or Lean Meat

Protein isn’t essential prior to working out, but it does help you feel full, which is important when you’re watching what you eat. So when you’re eating carbs like whole grain toast, add a little something like turkey or cheddar.
    Whole Grain Toast with Cheese or Lean Meat

    Protein isn’t essential prior to working out, but it does help you feel full, which is important when you’re watching what you eat. So when you’re eating carbs like whole grain toast, add a little something like turkey or cheddar.
  • Oatmeal Cookies
If you or your child is competing in multiple matches on one day, say at a tennis or wrestling tournament, it’s a good idea to eat something between games, Oatmeal cookies have plenty of healthy carbs in the oatmeal and a little sugar for some quick energy.
    Oatmeal Cookies
    If you or your child is competing in multiple matches on one day, say at a tennis or wrestling tournament, it’s a good idea to eat something between games, Oatmeal cookies have plenty of healthy carbs in the oatmeal and a little sugar for some quick energy.
  • Whole Wheat Waffles

Don’t make these if you’re planning on jogging right after breakfast, but if you are looking for a healthy breakfast to make on the morning of a competition, whole wheat waffles are high in carbs and low in sugar, making them a perfect option.
    Whole Wheat Waffles

    Don’t make these if you’re planning on jogging right after breakfast, but if you are looking for a healthy breakfast to make on the morning of a competition, whole wheat waffles are high in carbs and low in sugar, making them a perfect option.
  • Fresh Fruit

While you don’t want to eat a meal within two hours of competition, a snack for energy is a great idea and fresh fruit is always a healthy snack option that will provide quick energy.
    Fresh Fruit

    While you don’t want to eat a meal within two hours of competition, a snack for energy is a great idea and fresh fruit is always a healthy snack option that will provide quick energy.
  • After Your Workout

The best post-workout snacks should pack a moderate amount of protein. Sports dietitian Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, CSSD, recommends eating something with 10 - 20 grams of high-quality protein to help your muscles repair and grow.
    After Your Workout

    The best post-workout snacks should pack a moderate amount of protein. Sports dietitian Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, CSSD, recommends eating something with 10 - 20 grams of high-quality protein to help your muscles repair and grow.
  • Quinoa and Fruit

Power up your wind down with this supercharged curried quinoa salad. Featuring fiber- and protein-rich quinoa and black beans, with the added tang of mango, this is hearty salad that won't weigh you down.
    Quinoa and Fruit

    Power up your wind down with this supercharged curried quinoa salad. Featuring fiber- and protein-rich quinoa and black beans, with the added tang of mango, this is hearty salad that won't weigh you down.
  • Greek Yogurt

Low fat Greek yogurt is rich in protein and relatively low in calories. It's also highly portable, making it an ideal after workout indulgence. Put a few healthy carbs in the mix with fresh fruit, or even a drizzle of honey.
    Greek Yogurt

    Low fat Greek yogurt is rich in protein and relatively low in calories. It's also highly portable, making it an ideal after workout indulgence. Put a few healthy carbs in the mix with fresh fruit, or even a drizzle of honey.
  • Fruity Protein Smoothie

This fruity smoothie is brimming with fresh fruit as well as zesty lime. Make it right for a your post-workout cool down by adding some protein powder or low fat Greek yogurt.
    Fruity Protein Smoothie

    This fruity smoothie is brimming with fresh fruit as well as zesty lime. Make it right for a your post-workout cool down by adding some protein powder or low fat Greek yogurt.
  • Tofu, Nuts, and Broccoli

Power up after your workout with this colorful, flavorful meal. Tofu and cashews lends protein, while broccoli bring nutrients like vitamins C and K, and folate. Fresh citrus adds vitamin C, plus sweet, refreshing flavor.
    Tofu, Nuts, and Broccoli

    Power up after your workout with this colorful, flavorful meal. Tofu and cashews lends protein, while broccoli bring nutrients like vitamins C and K, and folate. Fresh citrus adds vitamin C, plus sweet, refreshing flavor.
  • Supercharged Salad

Making a healthy salad piled high with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheese can make for an ideal way to recharge after a workout. Nuts or cheese can add protein, while vegetables and fruits provide nutrients and healthy carbohydrates.
    Supercharged Salad

    Making a healthy salad piled high with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheese can make for an ideal way to recharge after a workout. Nuts or cheese can add protein, while vegetables and fruits provide nutrients and healthy carbohydrates.
  • Salmon

Besides being loaded with protein, salmon is brimming with beneficial omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, as well as thiamin, niacin, potassium, and B vitamins. For the optimal mix or protein and carbohydrates, try a quick salmon salad atop a slice of whole grain bread.
    Salmon

    Besides being loaded with protein, salmon is brimming with beneficial omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, as well as thiamin, niacin, potassium, and B vitamins. For the optimal mix or protein and carbohydrates, try a quick salmon salad atop a slice of whole grain bread.
  • Tofu and Whole Grains

Power up with this healthy and protein-packed soba noodle bowl. Protein-rich peanut butter and tofu are served over whole grain buckwheat noodles, making for a satisfying and healthy post-workout meal.
    Tofu and Whole Grains

    Power up with this healthy and protein-packed soba noodle bowl. Protein-rich peanut butter and tofu are served over whole grain buckwheat noodles, making for a satisfying and healthy post-workout meal.
  • Lean Chicken

Make post-workout eating fun with this simple set up for a protein- and veggie-packed barbecue-flavored chicken chop salad bar. With everything you need to refuel – black beans, veggies, lean chicken – this is a fun and delicious way to power up after working out.
    Lean Chicken

    Make post-workout eating fun with this simple set up for a protein- and veggie-packed barbecue-flavored chicken chop salad bar. With everything you need to refuel – black beans, veggies, lean chicken – this is a fun and delicious way to power up after working out.
  • Quinoa and Vegetables

Since quinoa has an excellent balance of protein and carbs, it makes a terrific post-workout snack. This yummy salad brings the flavor too, with creamy avocados, sweet mangoes, and nutrient-dense parsley, cilantro, and kale.
    Quinoa and Vegetables

    Since quinoa has an excellent balance of protein and carbs, it makes a terrific post-workout snack. This yummy salad brings the flavor too, with creamy avocados, sweet mangoes, and nutrient-dense parsley, cilantro, and kale.
  • Chocolate Milk

That's right! According to three recent studies, low-fat chocolate milk may provide the optimal balance of carbohydrates and protein after a workout.
    Chocolate Milk

    That's right! According to three recent studies, low-fat chocolate milk may provide the optimal balance of carbohydrates and protein after a workout.
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