Fuelling your body in the right way before you work out will help you feel energised and ready to give it your all. Choosing your pre-workout food can be confusing with so many options out there, but you know we always bring you handy tips with the science to back it up, so you can make the right choice for your needs.

In terms of when to fuel up, there’s no specific window you have to eat in, but we’d recommend waiting at least an hour after eating before you start your workout. If you know the feeling of working out right after a heavy meal, you know it’s not the best one! You might want to wait longer if you’ve eaten fat, as it’s a little more complicated to digest compared to protein and carbs [1]. The key is to be full enough that you feel you have energy, but not so full that you’re uncomfortable. To wrap it up, it’s all about the right balance.

Good pre-workout foods

Before working out, athletes don’t have specific needs, except for getting energy! For that you’re looking for pre-workout carbs particularly, because they give you the energy you need. But don’t forget protein and veggies are part of a balanced diet. This winning combo will help you face the next workout challenge you have planned.

If you’re experimenting with different high protein snacks and different timings, it’s best to do this on a normal training day, not on game day or when you’re going for a personal best.

Check out these pre-workout foods to help you through your workout so you can give your best.

  • Dried fruit is a good source of simple carbohydrates and easily digestible, so don’t hesitate to grab a handful!

  • Homemade granola bars are a nutritious treat for sweet tooth.

  • Mashed banana with a pinch of cinnamon on wholegrain toast: a great mix of carbs sources!

What about protein before training?

As we said, it’s good to have some carbs before your workout to give you energy, but you might also benefit from a bit of protein before training too. While carbs will give you that energy boost you need to keep moving in the gym, on the track or in the field, if you’re doing a form of resistance training like weightlifting, protein will help your muscles recovery after training. This helps to have strong muscles and to gain muscles mass, and protein is an important part of the process. So, actually, you’ll enjoy the benefits of protein more if you eat them as part of your post workout food!

Plus, a more substantial and balanced meal or snack will mean you’re eating enough and won’t feel over tired or lightheaded while you work out. Overall, our bodies benefit from a balanced diet, so it’s great not to put your focus on carbs only, but also include protein, veggies and a bit of fat!

But you know that not all proteins are the same. From a nutritional point of view, they have different compositions of amino acids, which will affect your body in different ways. Proteins are made up of 20 different amino acids, but 9 of these can’t be made by your body, so you need to get them from your diet. They’re called essential amino acids. When you’re getting ready to ace your training session, you want to pay particular attention to something called branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).

BCAAs are a bunch of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They’re really useful for you athletes because they help with protein synthesis and glucose metabolism. Leucine in particular has a role in what is called “anabolic signalling”, which initiates protein synthesis. It’s important stuff, and you can get it from your YoPRO PERFORM yoghurt.

What else to eat after training

After you’ve given it your all in the gym or on the field, it’s time to refuel. You put a lot of strain on your body to reach your goals, and recovery is an important part of your routine so you can keep going.

First, hydration is important. Water or a drink with electrolytes will rehydrate you after you’ve sweated and worked hard.

Next, you want to think about carbs to restore muscle glycogen stores. Ideally, an intake of 1.0 to 1.2g carbs per kg bodyweight should be taken in the 2 hours following the workout. Sweet potato, pasta, oatmeal, starchy fruit like a banana, and rice cakes [2] are all good options.

To give you an example, you could get plenty of carbs from a banana (27g of carbs [3]) or baked sweet potato fries made from half a sweet potato (13g of carbs [4]). There are plenty of options!

Finally, don’t forget your protein! Once again, complete proteins are key to your recovery, especially leucine contained in them. Foods high in leucine include chicken, beef, pork, soy, white and kidney beans, milk, and pumpkin seeds [5]. Choosing healthy foods to eat after the gym that combine protein with your carbs and a lot of water will help your body bounce back and get ready for your next training session.

High protein snacks based on milk and yoghurt are great choices post-workout because they contain whey and casein proteins – both high quality, complete proteins. Whey is a ‘fast’ protein that is quickly hydrolysed, while casein is absorbed gradually. You can find whey in your YoPRO Perform Yoghurt.

Written by: Green Park Content

Any medical advice and views expressed are those of the author; readers should obtain medical advice.




[3] United States Department of Agriculture, FoodData Central,

[4] United States Department of Agriculture, FoodData Central, details/787640/nutrients



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