Eating Before, During and After Exercise

If you lead an active lifestyle, it is just right to optimise the effects of physical activity. Keep in mind that the foundation of your success is sports nutrition. Sports nutrition involves the creation of a well-designed plan that will allow you to perform at your best.

If you follow basic nutrition and hydration tips, you can stay at your peak performance before, during and after your exercise. To help you get started, here are some tips that you should consider:

Eating before the exercise

At the onset, you should know about the macronutrients and incorporate it into your diet. Macronutrients are made of the following food groups, which can supply the necessary energy to function at your best:

  • Carbohydrates: the most important source of energy for the human body. It feeds energy to your cells, tissues and your organs. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex.
  • Proteins: a protein is made of a chain of amino acids, which is important in every cell of the human body. It plays an important role in muscle growth and recovery. Proteins can be complete or incomplete.
  • Fats: fats provide fatty acids, which is a crucial source of energy. Fatty acids can help if your exercise sessions last longer than one hour. Fats can be saturated or unsaturated.

Eating during the exercise

Keep in mind that eating during the exercise should focus on carbohydrates. If you have an exercise session lasting for more than an hour, it is crucial to consume additional 30-60 grams of carbohydrates during the activity.

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Eating after exercise

After exercise, you should facilitate recovery. As with eating during the exercise, the focus on eating after exercise is carbohydrates. You should remember to eat foods rich in carbohydrates within 15-30 minutes after the physical activity.

The 15-30 minutes window is crucial because it is the time when you are receptive to the uptake of glucose. During this time, you have to consume 1 to 1.5 g/kg of rapid-acting carbohydrate. Alternatively, you can also consume a ratio of 4 grams of carbohydrates to 1 gram of protein.


Do not forget about drinking fluids. You should stay adequately hydrated. Bear in mind that even a loss of 1% body weight can significantly reduce your athletic performance. Water should be enough for your hydration needs.

It is required that you consume at least 16 ounces of water two hours before exercise and 5-10 ounces during the exercise (intake every 15-20 minutes). You need to make it a habit to check your weight before and after physical activity. For every pound that you lost, you need to consume 16-24 ounces of water.

Final thoughts

By making informed decisions about your hydration and nutrition, it will surely improve your performance. Aside from that, it can also help prevent injury and hastens recovery. However, it is hard to start because of the myriad conflicting information. With this, you need the help of sports nutrition professionals.