Foods that Supplement Your Workout

Structured daily exercise is highly essential for a healthy life. More so these days, when the majority of the lifestyles are fairly sedentary and require very little physical exertion. Gyms and home workout routines are becoming increasingly popular for not just weight loss but also to build healthy bodies. A lot of people falsely assume that they should not eat anything before and after a workout, or ignore eating due to lack of time or convenience. This is absolutely wrong. pre-and-post workout foods are just as important as the workout itself.

Everyone’s nutritional requirements and preferences are different depending on their goals, the type of exercises they select, and various other factors like muscle build-up, weight loss, and fitness level. But generally, pre-workout foods provide fuel for the workout and tend to be carbohydrate-rich, while post-workout foods are rich in protein for muscle repair and recovery. Here’s a list of easily available and easy-to-prepare choices for individuals who are not on any structured dietary regimen.

Pre-Workout Foods

Pre-workout foods will give you more energy. A combination of carbs and protein is recommended for pre-workout meals. Fat can also be beneficial, but if consumed it should be done at least two hours before exercise. A simple rule for the balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat in the meal would be a ratio of 4:2:1 respectively.


This miracle fruit has natural sugars, carbohydrates, and potassium. It provides more energy than caffeine and boosts your glycogen stores. They can be eaten fresh or can be combined with a salad. A banana shake without added sugar will also do.

Brown rice, Black beans & Vegetables

Black beans are a good source of protein, rice gives carbohydrates, and vegetables keep you refreshed. This perfect combo can provide you with amino acids to promote muscle anabolism and is also a slow-releasing source of energy. This kind of meal is ideally consumed 2 to 3 hours before a workout.

Chicken, Sweet potato & Green beans

If you do not prefer rice, you can just replace it with boiled sweet potato and beans to get the same results.

Almond butter, Banana (or Apple) & Coconut

Freshly grated coconut mixed with banana or apple and almond butter is a package of all needed protein and carbs. Baked broccoli, Cheese & Pepper omelet: Load the eggs with your favorite veggies and cheese, bake them heartily and eat. This tasty dish will not let you down.


This is the ultimate pre-workout snack. It contains all the complex carbohydrates and is also a good source of soluble fiber Beta-glucan. Oats can be consumed around 2 hours prior to a workout to get a slow-releasing energy source that continues through your workouts. Adding a scoop of whey protein supplement to the oatmeal is an excellent idea to get a great dose of protein and muscle-protecting amino acids.

Homemade protein bars

Dry fruit and chocolate bars, peanut bars, sesame, and jaggery bars, are just a few examples. These are easy to make and take while on the go.

Post-Workout Foods

Refueling your body after a hard workout is important for recovery, particularly if it lasts longer than 60 minutes. If a workout depends on strength, the food you eat is the only way for your muscles to rebuild and repair. For short or moderate workouts, you can wait until the next meal. If it is high intensity, strength-based, or lasts over two hours, the window for glycogen replenishment is the first 30 to 60 minutes after your workout.

Banana-Peanut butter bites

A banana with a good scoop of peanut butter is a snack that comes as a package of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.


Whole wheat rolls wrapped with banana or apple slices, peanut or almond butter, and a dash of cinnamon powder, are all you need for a refreshing snack post-workout. Cinnamon powder is stabilize blood sugar and improves brain function.

Egg & Vegetable Sandwich

Sandwich your favorite veggies like tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, and egg, and bake it. Toss with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.

Peanut butter & Chocolate protein shake

This shake will curb your sugar cravings. Add a dash of whey protein or a plant-based protein powder and cinnamon powder along with peanut butter.


Grilled chicken and meat is a good sources of lean protein. Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Workout Supplements

Regardless of whether you are performing high-intensity or low-intensity exercises, you will benefit from supplementing your diet with these products as they provide the necessary nutrients to build muscle in a concentrated, readily available form and fill up the gaps in the diet. While the first thing that generally comes to most peoples’ minds when thinking about nutrition supplements are the terms “whey protein,” “creatine,” and of course, the notorious “post-workout anabolic window”, what many people often overlook is the vital importance of pre-workout nutrition for long-term muscle-building goals.


Many studies have shown that creatine increases muscle mass, muscle fiber size, muscle strength, and power, and also delays fatigue. Taking this supplement post-workout is more effective than pre-workout.

Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

These refer to the essential amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Studies reveal that BCAAs reduce the risk of muscle damage and increase muscle protein synthesis when taken prior to workouts. A dose of 5 grams or more at least an hour before a workout is necessary for your body.

Whey Protein

This is the protein that separates the curd in the production of cheese. Whey protein is rich in minerals and vitamins. It absorbs quickly and provides a steady stream of amino acids which enter the blood quickly. It shows to promote gains in lean mass and strength, reduction in body fat and increased growth hormone release.

Whey Protein Isolate

This has limited fat and lactose and hence is considered a safer supplement for those who are lactose intolerant.


Glutamine is the most common amino acid that captures in muscles. It is the most important amino acid. During intense workouts, glutamine levels are welly consumes in the body, which decreases strength, stamina, and recovery. It can take at least a week for glutamine levels to return to normal.

Written by MedPlus