The Best Pre and Post Workout Meals

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We get asked a lot about what exactly we eat to stay lean and have these shredded physiques. Nutrition is such an important part when it comes to getting the body you want. So while we often share workouts, body breakdowns and fitness tips, today we want to focus more on the eating aspects of reaching your fitness goals. In this article, we’re going to talk to you about nutrition and tell you what types of things you should be eating before and after you workout. Now, while there isn’t one specific meal plan that is better than all the rest, there are some basic ground rules that you should apply to your eating. We’ll cover those first and show you how to apply them before and after your workouts.

The Basics

You want to think of food as fuel for your body. If you’re trying to build muscle mass, your muscles are going to need sufficient macronutrients to get larger. Carbohydrates and fats give you energy so you can make it through the day with peak levels of energy. Protein will help you maintain and build muscle mass after your intense workouts. You need all three macronutrients for a healthy body, but make sure you are consuming them in the right amounts.

If you want to lose body fat, you need to make sure you are eating in a calorie deficit. You can check out our Nutrition Calculator to find out exactly the right amounts of calories, carbs, fats and proteins that you should consume each day. You can also check out our JRD Nutrition System that will help you create a personalized nutrition plan and keep you accountable to your goals. By hitting these target numbers for calories and macronutrients consistently, you’ll guarantee that you’ll start seeing results.

Pre Workout Meals

We personally don’t like to eat before most of the  workouts you will find on our youtube channel or in our workout programs. That’s mainly because we are intermittent fasting. What that means is that we eat in an 8-hour window from about noon until 8pm and then we fast, or don’t eat any food until the following day at noon again. What intermittent fasting does is it allows your body to burn fat instead of glucose simply by changing when you eat food instead of what foods you eat.

If you are going to be doing more intense training (more than 30 minutes) you may want to get some simple carbohydrates in your body an hour or so before your workout. Fruit is perfect!

So what does our food intake look like if we’re fasting? It’s basically about 32 ounces of water and 1 to 2 cups of coffee. We prefer to workout around midday, and that lands during our fasting window which is why we don’t eat before working out. Like previously mentioned if we do work out later in the day, we’ll eat something small about an hour or two beforehand. We’ll typically eat a protein bar or grab some fruit or another simple carbohydrate that can be broken down easily and used for energy. So if you do want to eat before you work out, we recommend choosing an apple, orange or something similar that is light but will still give you some energy.

Post Workout Meals

We feast after our workouts. By the time we’re done working out, we’ve fasted all morning and are pretty much finished with most of the day, so we treat our feasts as a celebration. We get to sit down, enjoy and give our muscles the sustenance they need to grow and to give our body the nutrients it needs to maintain optimal health. Post workout, we try to get pretty big meals in that are heavy in protein and also very nutrient dense. A lot of times we’ll eat burrito bowls or salads with double chicken or lean meats. In our feasts, we try to get 50 to 60 grams of proteins, a little lower on carbs and moderate amounts when it comes to fats.

Sample Post Workout Bowl:

  • Broccoli

  • Two eggs

  • Half cup of cooked rice

  • One sausage link

  • 5 ounces of chicken

  • A little cheddar cheese

  • A splash of hot sauce

This is a great meal to eat because you get a lot of healthy carbs and a ton of protein from multiple sources. When you’re done working out, you want to eat foods in the following order: carbs, proteins and then fats. So right when you’re done working out on a heavy lifting day, you want to first eat your carbs, then proteins and then fats a little bit later.

Remember, to see results you need to make sure that whatever you eat before or after your workout is part of the total allowance for your day. So you’ll need to take those numbers from the Nutrition Calculator and make sure you stay within them. To help you stay on track and accountable, you can use an app like My Fitness Pal where you can log in everything you eat. That way you can see how many calories you’ve eaten throughout the day and how many you have left before the day ends.

Pre Workout Meal Recap

  • We don’t eat before, but if you want to then eat something light

  • Eat quick digestible carbohydrates or a little protein

  • Keep it simple and light

Post Workout Meal Recap

  • Feast

  • Give your body nutrients it needs to perform optimally

  • 70% of your food should come from whole foods: nuts, seeds, whole grains and lean protein like eggs, chicken or steak

Do The Thing

To get the body you want, you can’t just workout, you also need to dial in your nutrition. Follow these pre and post workout meal tips and you’ll start to see the results you want.  Nutrition doesn’t have to be boring, so make sure to leave some room in your daily calorie intake for foods that you enjoy and it’ll be much easier to stick with the program.



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