What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Health.com’s resident dietitian has recently co-authored a book about sports nutrition entitled Energy to Burn: The Ultimate Food and Nutrition Guide to Fuel Your Active Life. Energy to Burn: The Ultimate Food and Nutrition Guide to Fuel Your Active Life.

The book offers information about what foods to eat to help physically active people reach their goals and nutrition-conditioning strategies to help them meet the demands of a typical workout.

During her research, Julie Upton, RD got to interview hundreds of world class athletes and exercise junkies and found out that most top athletes have "specific approaches to nutrition for both training and competing" and that they control their diet right down to individual calories. Her book offers advice about what to eat and how much before, during, and after exercise to raise performance and maximize workout. 

That said, below is a basic sports-nutrition table created by Julie Upton that you can use as a guide on what to eat before, during and after a workout:

Eat and drink

Before exercise

During exercise

After exercise

Carbohydrates:
Whole grains; fruit; 100% fruit juices; sports-nutrition bars, gels, and drinks

0.9 gram per pound, 2 hours before

1-2 hours: 30-60 grams per hour

2+ hours: 45-90 grams per hour

0.9 gram per pound, 2 hours before

Proteins:
Lean meats; fish; poultry; eggs; low-fat or nonfat dairy products; soy; nuts; seeds

Not recommended

Not recommended

10-20 grams within 1 hour

Hydration:
Water; 100% fruit juices; sports drinks

0.1 oz per pound

6-8 fluid oz every 15-20 minutes or 18-32 oz per hour

24 oz per pound lost during exercise

 

Aside from providing basic sports-nutrition concepts, the book also offers tips on how to find your perfect weight and keep it, and a guide to vitamins, minerals and sports supplements.

Source: health.com; julieupton.com