Food for fuel: 8 tasty recipes to eat before and after your workouts

Handpicked by WW nutritionists, these recipes are perfect for pre-workout fuel and post-workout recovery.
Published 27 April, 2020

Fuel up and stay hydrated

Whichever workout you choose, it’s important to fuel yourself and stay hydrated.

When it comes to getting enough H2O, drinking 6-8 glasses of fluid a day (preferably water) is a good rule of thumb. If you do any form of physical activity, the body loses water through sweat, and you'll need to up your intake. The more you sweat, the more water you’ll require to make up for fluid losses.  

But what about ensuring that you're properly fuelled for your workout? And what makes a good post-workout recovery meal? Try these recommendations from a WW nutritionist. 

Lower intensity workouts

Before you start:

Loading up on carbohydrates isn't usually necessary for low intensity routines such as stretching, walking or yoga. Try having a piece of fruit such as a banana, or make a drink like the creamy coconut & avocado smoothie below. Having something light will prevent you from feeling uncomfortably full during your session.

After your session:

Stretching and yoga can be strenuous on your muscles, so to help with growth and repair, go for a protein-based meal after your session. As you haven’t completed an endurance-based workout, eating a high-carb meal isn’t usually necessary. This nutritious salmon & asparagus omelette provides omega-3, fibre and vitamins. Yum!

Medium intensity workouts

Before you start:

To give you enough fuel for a medium intensity workout, such as strength training or jogging, try eating a balanced meal a couple of hours before starting. For example, start your day with these tasty yogurt breakfast pots (they also make a delicious afternoon snack!).

After your session:

There's no need to go heavy on the carbs after a medium-intensity workout; instead, prepare a protein-based meal to help repair muscle tissue. Go for an egg-based dish such as Mexican-style black beans & eggs, or a healthy and filling cauliflower 'rice' burrito bowl.

Higher intensity workouts

Before you start:

When you participate in a high-intensity workout, such as a run or circuit training, eating a carb-based meal at least two hours beforehand will keep your energy levels high and stop your blood sugar from dropping during the workout. Try our tropical bliss porridge, which contains oats, a slow-releasing carbohydrate that will help sustain energy levels.

After your session:

To recharge after a more vigorous workout, you’ll need a meal high in both protein and carbs. These chicken pak choi bowls with miso dressing are both nourishing and filling. If you'd prefer a meat-free meal, our mixed bean chilli is high in protein, as well as fibre to help keep the digestive system healthy.