Workout Meals

Eating Before And After Workouts: Nutrition Facts (2.7)

In this video, Clinical Nutritionist Tara Coleman talks about why pre- and post-workout meals are the most important of the day, why each one is important, and ideal food combinations for each.

This video is part of a series of videos all about nutrition facts. These videos provide a foundation of solid, basic nutritional information in a way that is easy to understand – and free from hype.


Your pre- and post-workout meals are hands down the most important meal of the day.

Your pre-workout meal is meant to fuel you for your workout, so typically this should be a substantial amount of carbohydrates with a little bit of protein. My favorite go-to pre-workout meal is a slice of toast with peanut butter and a banana. Now, you’re gonna have to play around with this a little bit because, as you may have noticed, some people can eat a steak and run a marathon, whereas other people can’t even think about food for hours prior to working out. But usually if you get something into you about 45 minutes pre-workout , it gives your body time to digest and you shouldn’t feel nauseous for your exercise.

Your post-workout meal serves two main purposes. One, it refuels the short-term energy stores that you’ve used up in your muscle and liver. Now, the most important food that you need to refuel these energy stores are carbohydrates. So make sure that any post-workout meal has a good source of carbohydrates. It could be a piece of fruit, it could be a piece of toast, anything that’s going to get those that quick fuel into you.

The second role of your post-workout meal is it actually starts to repair the damage that you’ve done during exercise. So exercise is wonderful, please keep doing it. But the purpose of exercise is it actually breaks down your muscles. The purpose of eating afterwards it actually builds them up. So make sure that your post-workout meal has a good source of protein. This could be peanut butter, this could be nuts, this could be a couple slices of turkey. Just make sure that it has both the carbohydrates for the fuel and the protein to help repair the damaged muscles. Now finally, the timing is most important, so make sure you get something into you within a half hour to hour after you work out.

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Clinical Nutritionist Tara Coleman can be found at
Tara Coleman is a nationally recognized nutrition expert, educator and spokesperson. She has been featured on NBC, FOX, The CW, Runners World and Prevention Magazine. In the field of nutrition there is not too little information but in fact too much. It is Tara’s goal to sift through all of the cutting edge nutritional research and diet trends and provide up to date nutritional advice in a way that is easy to understand and free from hype. Her philosophy is known for being realistic, effective and full of tips you can apply immediately.

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