Nutrition

The Best Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks for Lasting Energy

These 10 carbohydrate-rich recipes keep you fueled longer, with protein to help you recover.


Whether you’re running a marathon or hitting the gym to lift heavy, nutrition is essential for fueling your body during your workout and helping you to see results afterwards.

To help your body perform at maximum capacity, registered dietitian Kelli Fierras says to eat something high in carbohydrates before you work out. After exercise, you should aim to eat a snack or meal with about 10-20 grams of protein. But as with anything, everyone’s body is a little different and she says to find what works best for you.

The next time you’re in need of a pre- or post-workout snack, try one of these healthy recipes.

Pre-Workout

1. Peanut Butter & Jelly Stuffed Oatmeal Cups
Via Eat the Gains

Using a muffin tin, these oatmeal cups are the perfect on-the-go pre-workout snack. If you’re gluten-free, be sure the oats are certified gluten-free.

2. Apricot, Almond & Flaxseed Energy Bars
Via A Sweet Peach Chef 

These bars are free of refined sugars and get their sweetness from dates and dried apricots. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

3. Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Greek Yogurt Waffles
Via Ambitious Kitchen

If you prefer working out in the morning, these waffles would be good to fuel a long run or workout session. Feel free to use a different type of berry, blueberries also work well.

4. Veggie Breakfast Bowl
Via Love and Zest 

Get your savory fix with eggs, roasted vegetables, and optional avocado. For an extra boost of carbs, pair it with a side of whole grain toast.

5. Pre-Workout Green Smoothie
Via Simple Green Smoothie

Get your greens and pre-workout fuel with this simple smoothie, made with fresh spinach, apples, bananas, and oats. Use frozen bananas to make the smoothie as thick and creamy as possible.

Post-Workout

6. Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Bites
Via Asia Bradlee

Tart cherries are great for workout recovery and may reduce joint pain and inflammation. You’ll also get a dose of protein from the vegan protein powder.

7. Orange Mango Recovery Smoothie
Via Running on Real Food 

This smoothie incorporates glutamine, which is shown to have an effect on the body’s repair. It also helps boost immunity, digestion, and is good for physical and mental stress.

8. Spinach and Egg White Omelette
Via Yummy, Healthy, Easy 

Cottage cheese adds an extra boost of protein to this omelette. If you want to add more vegetables, mushrooms or peppers would work well.

9. Paleo Chicken Hash
Via Wicked Spatula 

Full of chicken, bacon, eggs, and sweet potatoes, this meal will keep you full and help you recover after your workout. If you don’t care for regular bacon, turkey bacon is a good substitute

10. Tart Cherry Gummy Candy
Via Margeaux Vittoria 

While not necessarily a whole meal, this snack contains gelatin and tart cherry juice, two ingredients that are good for muscle recovery. These gummies need to be refrigerated overnight so they can set, so be sure to plan ahead.