Diet and physical activity go hand in hand so eating well before and after a workout will help with maintaining blood sugar levels and provide the necessary protein for muscle repair and growth.
Carbohydrates provide the body with energy so eating low glycemic carbohydrates before your workout will ensure you have a steady stream of energy throughout your routine. Good options are as follows:
Gluten-free bread with almond butter and sliced banana is easy to digest so you won’t get indigestion during your workout. The almond butter adds some protein to provide you with sustainable energy and the bananas contain potassium which you’ll need to replenish after a sweaty workout.
Oatmeal is another good pre-workout meal. Add a sprinkling or nuts and seeds or fruit for added antioxidants and to help replenish fluids lost during your workout.
If you are pressed for time and are looking for a quick snack, cut up an apple and dip into almond or other nut or seed butters. You’ll get vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a boost of energy.
Post-workout food must repair and rejuvenate muscles. Recent research has shown that chocolate milk is a good option because it has everything you need in one glass; carbohydrates and protein for muscle recovery and water content to replace lost fluids. Choose organic, low fat milk and add your own cocoa powder.
Chia seeds are also a good post workout food that you can sprinkle on a salad, toss into a smoothie or make into a pudding. One ounce of chia seeds contains 4 grams of protein, 18% of your daily calcium requirements and 30% of the daily value of manganese, a trace mineral required for optimal carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and proper regulation of blood sugar.
Eggs make another great post-workout option as they are an excellent source of high quality protein required for muscle repair. They are also very versatile and good food for those on the go, hard boil a few eggs and carry with you in your gym bag.
1/3 cup white or black chia seeds
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (rice, almond or soy)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar, cover and give it a vigorous shake.
2. Chill for about an hour, then return to the jar and shake it up. Let chill for at least another 4 hours or
3. Serve cold with sliced fruit, toasted nuts, cinnamon, honey, cloves or maple syrup.
Dedicated to healthy eating for more than 25 years, Karen Gilman is passionate about helping others eat well and love what they eat. Karen graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2011 where she received a diploma in Natural Nutrition. Karen is also a certified food handler and a member of the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals.
You can make an appointment at the Pinewood Natural Health Centre with Karen Gilman by emailing
Phone: (416) 656-8100