The Right Foods to Eat When Working Out

What to Eat when you Work Out

The food that you eat is of great importance especially when exercising. This is because it’s one of the main factors that determines whether you will get fit or not. Here are some of the best foods that you should eat:

If Doing Aerobics

Before you engage in the exercises you should determine the amount of time that you have before you start exercising. If you have 3-4 hours before you start exercises, you should take a regular meal. For example, you should take a salad grilled chicken, turkey and cheese, or grilled salmon with brown rice and broccoli.


If you have less than one hour to exercise, you should take a low-fat snack. For example, you can take a nonfat yogurt, a piece of fruit, a low-fat granola bar, or a handful of pretzels. To be on the safe side you should go for snacks that you can digest comfortably.

Once you have completed the cardio exercise you should take foods that will help you in refueling your energy stores. The foods should also help your tired and worn out muscles to recover. The best foods to eat at this time are healthy carbs and a boost of protein. Great foods are a glass of chocolate milk, or hummus with pita chips.

If Lifting Weights

To rebuild muscles you need to eat foods that are rich in proteins. Although, this is the case, you don’t have to spend a lot of money buying expensive protein powders. One of the best proteins to take is milk.

Lifting Weights

Once you are through with training, you should relax for a few minutes and then take a glass of milk. In addition to giving you proteins, milk also aids in combating tissue breakdown and as a result you develop strong and well toned muscles. Other than milk, other great foods to take are: peanut butter sandwiches, nuts, and raisins.

If You Are Swimming

Swimming is known to require a lot of energy; therefore, it’s wise that you eat before you hit the pool. The best foods to take are those that are rich in protein and carbs. If you are planning of swimming during the lunch hour, you should take a breakfast of poached eggs on toast, milk and honey, and porridge with banana.


You should avoid fatty foods as they are difficult to digest thus can easily result to indigestion and abdominal discomfort.

To replenish lost nutrients and nutrients, it’s good to eat after a swim. For ideal results you should eat in the first 20-30 minutes after the swim. Great foods to take after a swim are: snacks such as recovery drinks that have a mix of carbohydrates and proteins. You should also take main meals such as lean chicken, turkey, fish and beef.

If You Are Running Long Distances

Long distances are distances that take you more than 90 minutes to run. Since you exercise for a long time, you should take foods that keep your muscles fuelled in order to maximize endurance and replace lost fluids.


The best drink to take to replenish lost fluids is water. Once you are done with running you should ensure that you take a recovery drink that will aid in muscle repair and boost your immune system.

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This article was written by Mamata

A fitness enthusiast with a passion to help people achieve productive living through a fit life. With Fitnessb start your journey to a fit life and healthy living.

0 thoughts on “The Right Foods to Eat When Working Out”

  1. Thanks, for the great information. It’s really helpful that you suggest different meal ideas to go along with the various kinds of workouts. I agree that drinking water is very important after a workout.

  2. This information is invaluable and I will be implementing a lot of this nutrition suggestions as part of my workout routine from now on. I found that in the summer months, I could make different herbal concoctions to take the place of energy drinks. The high fructose and sucrose content sometimes left me with a crash and burn effect if I had a strenuous workout just before. Thanks for the info.

  3. This article is precisely what I needed to read as my husband and I have such different needs as far as nutrition goes. He is a triathlete and a long distance cyclist, who struggles to keep his weight on. As you have suggested with the proteins, he now drinks milk after a long cycle and feels that he does recover. I on the other hand need to maintain and drop my weight, so I now pay particular attention to when I eat before and after exercise as I don’t burn up as much energy as my husband.

  4. This is helpful. Often times, people are tempted to skip meals when trying to lose weight which is wrong. Starving yourself actually slows down the metabolism.

    The key is to know what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. Exercise and proper nutrition always go hand in hand.

    This article was very comprehensive on those details.

    I love to swim, so I take in whole grains, eggs, soy milk and a piece of fruit before I head into the water. If I don’t, I won’t have energy.

  5. As a swim coach, I would also add that it’s extremely important to stay hydrated while swimming. Most people have no problem staying hydrated while doing any other sort of cardio workout, but because you’re already in the water when you’re swimming, it’s easy to forget about drinking water. Swimming is very intense and you sweat a lot if you’re doing it right. Most people don’t notice it at all though because they’re in the water.

  6. This is helpful. Honestly, I’m such a slob when it comes to food. I’ve attempted to start working out so many times in the past year, and the thing that always seems to ruin it all is that I can’t get the food right.
    Maybe if I just start using a predetermined list with foods that I can eat based on each particular diciplin, I can finally get it right!
    And since I’m an avid swimmer, I can keep eating chicken, my favourite food.

  7. Food is a hot topic nowadays as everyone seem to be getting health conscious. I am no different as i would also very much like to get rid of this bulge that is preventing me from seeing my toes. I know the type of foods that should be eaten; plant over animal is a plus to reduce cholesterol, natural sugars as opposed to processed foods and so on. The problem however is getting myself to eat it. The battle of my bulging tummy is on as my greediness needs to be curbed in order for me to see results. I am giving myself a one month challenge at healthy eating, will let you know how it works out!

  8. I have found that becoming aware about how my body feels during a workout after eating certain foods is the best way to maximize my workout. Everyone’s body is different and certain foods can make one person feel great and another person feel bad. I work out mid-morning and like to eat a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter about an hour before I work out. This seems to be the best way for me to have the most energy, but I need to be more aware about my food makes me feel during different types of exercise.

  9. This article was quite helpful. I didn’t realize that different exercises calls for different foods. I guess it makes sense that more protein is needed for work outs. However, does this mean that I should be consuming carbs for running, as they provide the most energy in the long run?

  10. I have heard so many different things to eat before you workout, not sure which one is exactly true. I just would rather eat fruit or proteins like nuts, because not everything works for everybody. I will share this with others though, just incase someone else would like to give this a try.

  11. This is quite helpful. I have been working out and not sure what type of foods to eat. I happen to eat almost anything I can grab from the table and of course, it doesn’t really help me on my quest to lose weight. So, I guess I’ll go ahead and give this one a try.

  12. I have always believed that what you eat is just as important as how you work out. I found this article very intriguing and helpful, as I have never truly been quite sure what to eat to target specific forms of exercises. I have rarely even considered it. I will have to take some time to reflect on what I eat, and how it may be affecting my workout and results. One aspect that I would like emphasize about your article, is how important water consummation is for any form of exercise. I honestly believe that people often overlook such an important component when they are so on pushing themselves during their working out. Thank you for the great article! Work hard everyone!

  13. This is really helpful! I have a tendency to binge on carbs before and after a workout, somehow thinking that physical activity warranted extra food, which is probably why I got fat! The right foods can make all the difference. Good article.

  14. I have to agree, milk is the perfect after workout “snack” for me. I love to do aerobics, and even though I drink water throughout my workout, I’m hot and thirsty when I finish. I like to pour a cup of milk over ice, add a little vanilla and a packet of splenda. For some reason, when served over ice, the milk seems to thicken a little and it’s almost like having a milkshake. The cold milk is refreshing and the protein gives me a little boost. Plus there have been studies that show drinking milk helps you lose weight. A win-win all around!

  15. I found this article to be very helpful. I go swimming at least 3 times a week and I almost always pass out for about 2-3 three hours when I get home from swimming. I bet it’s because I never eat before a swim! I have been led to believe that eating before a swim is bad for you so I never chanced it. I never eat after a swim either. When I get home I go straight to bed. I love to swim but I always have to plan it in such a way that I don’t have anything else to do in a day because I’m always so tired. I will try this out and hopefully it’ll give me the energy that I need to enjoy the of the day.

  16. It never hurts to eat a protein bar while running long distances. Not everyone likes the feeling of eating while they’re exercising, but plenty of workouts cater to a little refueling during the act. Plus, you need to be drinking plenty of liquids. I’ve slowly started snacking throughout my workouts with some great results, surprisingly enough.

  17. Thank you this article, it is very informative indeed. I think that a lot of people who are trying to get fit simply don’t bother to think about anything but the exercise. They think that they can lose weight or build some muscle without having to tweak their diet. But that is incorrect, as you need to make sure that you’re eating the right things before you do anything else. Next time I come across people who are trying to make changes, I will point them in the way of this blog, because it has all of the information that they could possibly need; thank you again.

  18. This is the greatest list I have seen yet! I love that you tell us what we should eat with specific workouts. I will be sharing this on my Facebook, so much great information! Thank you!

  19. I agree with the types of food you should eat when lifting weights. If you are serious about gaining muscle and mass, you must be getting your daily dose of protein. Also, increasing calorie intake will increase gains. I gained 10 pounds in a month just by counting and raising my calories.

  20. This is good information. one thing I would add is that your should be sure you know how much (percentage) protein, carbs, and fat is to be consumed when working out. For short workouts that involve heavy weights the a good amount of proteins should be consumed. If your workout is more aerobic then more carbs is necessary. Also keep in mind you should consume foods at least an hour before workout.

  21. This Article is real good. Now I realize that different excercises helps to lose weight and eating a healthy food helps too.
    Now I know what I am going to do to lose weight because of this article. I am very thankful to the person who share this article.
    This is very helpful not only for me but also for us.

  22. I wasn’t aware that milk was good to drink directly following a weight lifting workout. Any food or drink that’s high in protein would be beneficial to rebuilding the muscle fibers that were torn during the workout.

    Also, thanks for the tip on the salmon or grilled chicken several hours before performing an aerobic workout – I’ll have to give it a try.

  23. Having read this article I thought ‘it’s so obvious’ that different exercises require different food types to allow us to work to the optimum ability, but y’know? It wasn’t until I read the article I realised how obvious it was.
    Thanks so much for this, will shake a few things up with my workouts and hopefully will feel a different!

  24. I am training to run my first marathon. Early in my training I failed to eat and hydrate properly, especially before my long runs. I’ve learned that I preform my best running 3 hours after eating a solid meal consisting of a meat, starch, green vegetables, and seltzer water. This gives me time to digest and provide me enough fuel for my 12+ mile runs.

  25. Wow, that was really helpful to see how each type of exercise is in need of a specific nutrient. What I’m curious about is walking. They say steady, daily walking helps you lose weight quicker, without destroying the muscle. What would you suggest for walkers?

  26. This was great information! Everyone is always curious about what to eat for an optimal workout, as well as optimal replenishment. For someone who went to school for nutrition, I still struggle with this issue, and staying hydrated!

  27. I learned a good tip awhile back from an article, which was that after a workout, don’t eat any carbs for two hours afterwards, to let the body burn fat. I don’t know what the science would be behind that, but it definitely seems to work.

  28. A good diet pays a vital role in fueling your workout and the recovery process. The article gave some good advise on what to eat before and after a workout. I like to eat good simple carbs before a workout for energy, such as an apple. As mentioned, after a workout to help with the recovery process, you would want to replenish with a mixture of carbs and proteins. Not mentioned, however, is that you should also throw some good fats in there, such as an avocado. Also, if you are doing cardio for over 90 minutes, it may be a good idea to bring a little snack with you on your workout to keep your energy levels up, such as some candy or a fruit drink. These are full of simple carbs.

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