Here’s What You Should Eat Before and After a Morning Workout

For those of us who work out first thing in the morning, figuring out if we should eat or skip breakfast is an issue we’re constantly faced with. We tend to err on the side of eating before a workout, even if it’s just a small snack. And what you should eat before and after a workout depends on the type of exercise you’re doing. Here’s a guide to making smart choices when it comes to fueling up pre and post-workout.

Light Exercises (Easy Yoga or Walk)

For a workout that’s light, you don’t need to consume a ton of carbs pre-workout. Try consuming a bit of protein pre-workout, so you won’t get hungry during your exercise. We suggest a hard-boiled egg, a Greek yogurt, or a protein bar. In regards to post-workout food, if your workout is under an hour, you don’t need to worry about what you’re eating after your workout.

Long Intense Exercise

If you’re working out intensely for over an hour, you should eat carbs and a little bit of fat to fuel your muscles and energize you before a workout. For your pre-workout breakfast try oats, whole-wheat slices of bread with almond butter, or a smoothie with banana. Post-workout, aim for something with carbs and protein like a protein shake.

Short, High-Intensity Exercise (Spin Class, HIIT Training)

For short duration, high-intensity workouts, like spin classes or HIIT, opt for pre-workout food with carbs and protein and skip fats. Energy bars or whole-grain crackers with cheese or fruit are a great option. Post-workout, try protein bars that have twice the amount of carbs to protein.

Strength Training

Weight training needs high bursts of power, so eating carbs before is essential. Try an open face sandwich with turkey or cheese or a power bar. For your post-workout breakfast, eat an equal amount of carbs and protein. We suggest cottage cheese with fruit.