Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition Simplified

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition Simplified

Fine tune your meals to fuel up your workouts and get the most out of every training session.


Key Concepts


• Designing meals with protein first (necessary building blocks), followed by healthy fats and carbohydrates (for energy) is a prudent way to achieve your ideal body composition while considering the wide range in energy demands from person to person. 

• During exercise, the primary fuels used by your muscles are carbohydrate and fat. In general, your muscles tend to burn more fat and less glucose when doing mild exercise.

• The terms glucose and carbohydrates are used interchangeably to remind you that all carbohydrates eventually become a form of glucose. 

• When single glucose molecules are floating in your bloodstream we commonly call this blood sugar.

• When stored in muscle, several glucose molecules are strung together in branches we call glycogen. 

• As exercise becomes more intense, a higher percentage of the working muscles energy demands are supplied by glucose, until at the highest intensities almost only carbohydrates are used.


If you want to get the most out of your workouts, despite your chosen mode of exercise—whether it’s a grueling CrossFit workout, an intense spin class, or a brisk run in the mountains—you must take your pre-exercise and post-exercise nutrition seriously to provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs.


Since all intense forms of exercise use carbohydrates for energy, maintaining adequate carbohydrate stores in muscle makes good sense. Having 1-2 meals under your belt before training will give you more energy and a more effective workout. These meals should contain 30-45 grams of complex carbs for men and 20-30 grams for women. These carbs could consist of vegetables, sweet potatoes, beans, or whole grains, or dark berries.


Protein is vital to health, in particular, your intake around exercise. Taken before training, Whey protein has unique properties that make it the near perfect protein to aid an effective workout. If you don’t have a whey protein handy, a Quest Bar is a great way to get in the right combination of carbs and whey protein. Other strong protein choices are chicken, turkey, lean beef and eggs. Suggested range of protein is 25-45 grams for men and 15-25 grams for women.

After exercise your muscles are primed to re-fuel and rebuild making post-workout meal planning well worth the effort. Your post-workout meal is your first defense for maintaining and building lean muscle–the tissue that increases our metabolism and helps us burn more calories throughout the day.


Your post-workout meal should consist of protein, to rebuild and repair, and carbohydrate to replace energy stores. Suggested intake for protein is: 30-45 grams for men and 20-25 grams for women. For carbohydrates, consume both simple and complex; to minimize protein breakdown and re-fill carbohydrate stored in muscle. While your post-workout feeding should be rich in protein and carbohydrate, this meal should be fat-free.


The consumption of essential fats is one of the most overlooked areas of daily nutritional intake, but during the post-workout period, eating fat can actually decrease the effectiveness of your post-workout beverage. Since fat slows down transit through the stomach, eating fat during the post-workout period may slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.




• Pre-workout meal should be consumed 30 minutes to an hour beforehand

• Post-workout meal should be consumed immediately after exercise. The best pre-workout and post-workout nutrients are something I call my workout “sandwich.” I “sandwich” my workout with a complete carbohydrate and protein-rich shake or protein bar before and after training. Oftentimes, I will eat a Quest Bar for a pre-workout snack that gives just enough energy and stamina to have a killer workout, and follow it up with a protein shake complete with the proper nutrients. Try my smoothie recipe below.


Fuel-Up Workout Smoothie


• 1cup almond milk or water

• 3 ice cubes

• 1 scoop whey protein isolate powder (25 grams for women, 35 grams for men)

• ½-1 cup fruit (your choice – stick with dark berries for your pre-workout, any fruit


• 1 tsp glutamine powder for women, 2 tsp for men

• 1 tsp BCAA powder for women, 2 tsp for men

• Blend together in a blender, or shake ingredients in a shaker cup and eat the fruit on the side.

Pre-Workout Meal Ideas for Men 


  • Medium Banana + 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup Oatmeal + 1 scoop Whey Protein
  • 1 or 2 slices Whole Grain Bread + 1 whole egg and 3-4 egg whites, or a couple Turkey slices
  • Fruit Smoothie (recipe above)


Post-Workout Meal Ideas for Men


  • 35g Whey Protein Powder + 1 Banana or 1/2 cup Pineapple
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt + 1 cup Berries + 1 Cup Cereal
  • Turkey or Chicken Wrap or Sandwich + Soup


Pre-Workout Meal Ideas for Women


  • Quest Protein Bar
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal + 1/2 cup fruit + 1 tbsp all natural PB or Almond butter
  • 4oz chicken breast (or tofu/tempeh) + 1 cup broccoli + 1/4 cup brown rice or quinoa
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white + 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 scoop protein powder blended with handful of raspberries
  • 1 Handful Trail Mix + 1 small Apple


Post-Workout Meal Ideas for Women


  • 25g Whey Protein Powder + 1 Banana or 1/2 cup Raspberries
  • Turkey or Chicken Wrap or Sandwich + Soup
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Potato + 3oz Chicken or White Fish (or tofu/tempeh)


What you eat before (and if needed, during) your workout is crucial for fueling the workout itself and maximizing your performance throughout.

What you eat after your workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process (which basically begins as soon as your workout ends) and ensuring that your body has all of the supplies it needs in order to recover, adapt and improve the way you want it to.

Credit / Source:

- Kristen Bell, Registered Dietitian, Sports Nutritionist




Plant-Based Frappucino

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Plant-Based Frappucino Recipe

Homemade * Guilt-Free * Dairy-Free * Vegan * Refined-Sugar Free * High in Protein

  • 8-10 ounces strongly brewed Decaf Coffee. Why decaf? Because I'm super sensitive to caffeine!
  • 1 scoop @plantfusion vanilla protein powder
  • 3-4 dates
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2-3 ounces unsweetened coconut milk (or you could use almond or hemp milk)
  • 6-10 ice cubes

         Blend and enjoy!



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Raspberry-Kefir Protein Shake {no protein powder needed!}

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM

I wanted to make a post-workout smoothie that did not contain protein powder... so this is what I came up with! 

It tastes super yummy, creamy, and tangy. This drink is nutritious, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, calcium, heart healthy fats, and fiber.  Probiotics are key for a healthy immune system and digestion.  Probiotics provide the gut with healthy bacteria to help fight off illnesses.

Here's what's in it!:


1 cup organic plain kefir (or you could use organic plain greek yogurt)
1 handful (about 3/4 cup) fresh or frozen raspberries
1 small or 1/2 large banana 
1 or 2 heaping spoonfuls of all-natural no-sugar peanut butter (or any nut-butter you like)

Blend until desired consistency. For a creamier, thicker shake, add more banana, for a thinner shake, add more liquid like water, kefir, or almond milk (or milk alternative of choice).

Blend up and enjoy! 

To your health,

Wendy :P

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Omg this seriously just happened...... The most delicious pumpkin pie smoothie ever! You MUST make this immediately! 

Just FYI, this smoothie is not too sweet (which is how I like my smoothies).... so if you want yours a bit sweeter, you could add your choice of sweetener, like raw honey, maple syrup, or stevia drops or powder.

Here's what's in it : 

1 frozen organic banana
 (I used trader joe's canned, and just added it to a plastic baggie and placed in freezer)
1/2 cup organic plain kefir (or you could use organic greek yogurt plain)
1/2 cup almond milk egg nog
2 ice cubes 

That's it! 

Blend and Enjoy this delicious fall treat :D

To your health,

Wendy :)


Creamy Banana-Flax Protein Smoothie

Posted on June 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Creamy Banana-Flax Protein Smoothie

This creamy banana-vanilla protein smoothie is delicous and nutritious.  Low in sugar, high in protein, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free.  High in calcium, potassium, and healthy omega-3-6-9 essential fatty acids.

Adding extra protein to your daily diet will help your body burn more fat, recover muscles, and stay energized and alert.

The three best times to drink this protein smoothie are:

1- within 30 minutes of waking (Breakfast)

2- Im between meals

3- After workouts for recovery. 


In a blender combine:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 or 1 whole frozen banana

1 scoop Jay Robb's Egg White Protein Powder

2 tbsp. Forti Flax

5-6 ice cubes

Blend and Serve!


<3 Wendy 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie!

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 8:45 PM



This high-protein smoothie s not only healthy, but it's DELICIOUS too!

I can't go ONE day without it.
If you like the taste of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.... then you'll LOVE this.

The best thing about this dark-chocolate-peanut-butter-banana protein smoothie is that it's good for you, packed with nutrients and protein, and won't make you gain weight. This drink will actually help you burn more fat and increase your metabolism, while satisfying your sweet tooth and curbing cravings for junk foods.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake Recipe:

1 Scoop Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Protein - Chocolate Flavor
1 cup Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
1 or 2 bananas (frozen)
1 Tbsp. Organic Peanut Butter (no sugar)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Spice 
5-6 ice cubes
-Makes 1 serving

Blend everything together.

If it's too thick, add a but more water or almond milk.

~ Lower Sugar Option ~

Use 1/2 cup of Dark Chocolate Almond Milk and 1/2 cup cold water
Use 1 cup Homemade Almond Milk or Store Bought Unsweetened Almond Milk + Raw Cocoa Powder