Best Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks for Any Type of Exercise

It's important to nourish your body when you ask a lot of it. Prepare for your next workout by eating a great pre-workout snack and then reward it for its hard work afterwards. We've found the best foods to eat before and after your favorite workouts to help you get the most them.

1. YOGA

Before: Yoga instructors recommend avoiding eating a large meal before yoga class. Trying to flow through poses is harder on a full stomach. Try eating a banana, apple or a small handful of nuts an hour before your yoga practice to give you energy and hold you over until you've finished.

bananas

After: Once you've finished yoga, treat your muscles with some protein. If it's a morning yoga class, an omelet with spinach is a great meal. For an evening class, prepare some salmon with a side of veggies.

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

2. RUNNING

Before: Before hitting the pavement (or treadmill) you'll want to fuel up! Runner's World suggests a snack that is higher in carbs but low in fiber and fat. Try some graham crackers with honey, a peanut butter and banana sandwich or some low-fat yogurt with fruit!

morning evening run (1)

After: After running, make sure you get some water and electrolytes. After you've cooled down, giving your body some carbs and protein is a great idea. Try a tasty quinoa salad, chicken breast or a turkey sandwich!

3. LIFTING

Before: Going to a workout hungry means your muscles have nothing to build on. Before lifting weights, try to consume a snack with protein and carbs to give your body the fuel it needs. A salad is a great low-cal meal, but won't help you when you lifting!

weight lifting woman

After: Post-lifting, the obvious answer is to eat protein so you can sustain the muscle you're building. However, before you blend together a delicious Brownie Batter Protein Smoothie, add a little carb to your diet to get your insulin up. A piece of fruit should do the trick!

fresh apples and pears

4. CARDIO

Before: When you pack your gym bag before Zumba, try grabbing an apple! A small dose of carbs will give your body the energy it needs. If you're going for a longer cardio workout, a bit of protein, like an egg  or a small piece of meat, is a good idea, but give yourself a little over an hour to digest it.

Cranberry Apple Slaw

After: According to Shape, if you've just completed a typical cardio workout, you don't necessarily need to eat right after because you've been burning calories thanks to an accelerated heart rate, but haven't used up much fuel. However, if you had a long workout, like when training for a race, or did a HIIT, high intensity workout or a lot of sprints, eating a snack with carbs and protein is a good idea.

aerobics class