Workout nutrition: What to eat and drink before and after a gym session

We take a look at what you should be eating and drinking before and after your gym session to boost the recovery process

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Almonds contain 15 essential nutrients and are a great post-workout snack Photo: Handout

You don’t need us to tell you that eating and drinking the right things before and after your visit to the gym is crucial to your success and achieving your fitness goals. But what are the best pre and post-workout food and drink to consume?

Let’s start with an obvious one: water. Hydration before and after exercise is absolutely crucial. If you are dehydrated during your workout you won’t be able to push yourself to the maximum. Try to keep a bottle of still water with you at all times. If you are feeling thirsty, it means that your body has already been dehydrated for at least 15 minutes.

It’s important to feel energised before heading to the gym to make sure you get the best out of your workout.

Bananas are full of digestible carbohydrates that will provide you with fuel for a workout. Alternatively, a simple slice of wholegrain bread is a great source of carbohydrates and fibre and can provide you with a slow release of sustained energy. Other quick snacks such as dried fruit and berries can also help you power through your intensive workout.

Consuming branched chain amino acids before your session can also help to boost the effectiveness of your workout. BCAAs prevent the need for your body to catabolize the muscle itself, preventing muscle breakdown.

After the session, your attention immediately turns to feeding your body with the right nutrients.

Some great post-workout foods include sweet potato, full fat cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt and, of course, a protein shake with added carbohydrates.

Berries are also good post-workout as they contain enzymes that help break down nutrients within the body to help the muscle recovery process. You can freeze all types of berries and add them into your post-workout protein smoothie.

A handful of almonds is also a good option after your session. Almonds contain 15 essential nutrients, including 65 per cent of your daily requirement of the antioxidant vitamin E.

This article is brought to you in conjunction with the marketing experts at, who conduct surveys and research to provide analyses across various sectors, particularly fitness, sports, fashion, food and many more.


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