As an avid runner, I have learned over the course of the years how incredibly important it is to fuel my body with the proper foods. To find the best pre and post work out meals and snacks for you, can take a lot of trial and error because everyone’s body craves different foods for optimal performance. I am going to share with you some of my favorite pre and post work out snacks to hopefully guide you through this trial and error process! Feel free to experiment with these options and do what feels best for your body.

Pre-work out

Early Morning exercisers:

Many times people who work out in the morning do not have time to eat breakfast, which is not ideal. I am personally guilty of this because I have early classes. So to fix this I eat a quick snack about 1/2 hour before I work out. My body needs the extra fuel, so I make sure I wake up early enough to get it! Usually, I have a scoop of peanut butter (about ½ tbsp), a ½ of a banana and a handful of Cheerios. The peanut butter helps to keep me full, while the banana and Cheerios are my source of carbohydrates to help keep me going. So in general, I usually pair peanut butter with some sort of carb—sometimes I have dried fruit or even a piece of bread with PB.

Morning exercisers:

I have found that waiting to work out about 2 hours after I eat breakfast is ideal. I am not hungry, but I am also not full. For you, it may be more or less time! I do recommend to wait about an hour after eating to head out to workout. Otherwise you may get stomach cramps. Here are some breakfast options

  • Two pieces of toast (whole grain) with almond butter (or PB) and honey and a piece of fruit
  • Orange juice, scrambled eggs, and toast.
  • Oatmeal with a banana and peanut butter or protein powder mixed in
  • Cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, toast, and a piece of fruit

Afternoon/night exercisers:

Working out at this time can get pretty tricky, at least for me. I have noticed that I really need to watch what I eat during the day if I am going to go for an afternoon or evening run. For example, I cannot eat too many vegetables or “heavy foods,” like dairy products or sweets. Eating some sort of sandwich is easiest on my stomach so I usually have a turkey or tuna salad sandwich with lettuce and tomato. I usually have an apple on the side. Below, I listed some snack options that I usually opt for:

  • Pretzels dipped in avocado
  • Carrots, crackers, and hummus
  • An orange and a hardboiled egg
  • Almonds and a piece of fruit


Post Work out Snacks

Fueling your body after a workout is so critical! You want to try to eat both a carb and a protein. Especially for endurance exercisers, eating carbohydrates after will help your glycogen stores grow. Protein also aids in this and is needed for muscle growth. Here are some of my favorite work out snacks!

  • Toast and peanut butter with a banana
  • Banana and avocado smoothie from Runners World
  • Chocolate milk with 1% milk and chocolate syrup
  • Graham crackers with peanut butter, skim or 1% milk, and a ½ banana
  • Sports drink, like Gatorade, and a protein bar


Want more ideas on implementing healthy snacks into your day to fuel your workouts? Make an appointment with our sports dietitian nutritionist! Our contact number is 301-474-2499 or you can visit our contact us page.


Pin It on Pinterest