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The Deal with Pre & Post Workout Meals

The Deal with Pre & Post Workout Meals

The Deal with Pre & Post Workout Meals

By Zeina Bachir

There are so many schools of thought on when and what we should be eating before and after a workout. In my years of working as a Dietician in Dubai, I've been asked about this topic endlessly. 

The most important thing to remember is: Everybody is different. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. What you can do is try out different methods and mealtimes until you find a system that works for you! 

Having a proper meal 1 to 3 hours before a workout could significantly improve your performance because your body will have the energy it needs to burn during a session. Now if you’re someone who is not eating properly before your workout session, you could risk using the muscles you’ve been building to be broken down and used for energy! 


Pre-Training Meals

The carbs are there for the energy and the protein is there to take care of your muscles. Some examples of pre workout meals include: 

  • Overnight oats
  • Whole grain bread with 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Protein shake with a banana
  • Greek yogurt and fruit
  • Pasta with minced meat
  • Grilled chicken with sweet potato


You can think of post-training meals with the equal importance of your workout intensity. The effort you put in the gym will only show if you’re eating properly after your workout. Post training meals are important to help you replenish all the nutrients you lost during training such as protein and glycogen. 

Some studies show that to get the ultimate benefits from post workout nutrition you should aim to have your meal immediately or up to 2 hours afterwards. The benefits of having a shake is because liquid digests faster than solids so your protein intake will be absorbed quicker. 

Post- Workout Meals

  • Grilled chicken with wheat pasta on long grain rice and roasted veggies.
  • Omelette with avocado spread on whole grain bread.
  • Quinoa with protein (turkey, chicken, meat, salmon, tuna).


  • Protein shake with water (from the gym), get a carb on the side like a banana, berries, dates, apple, etc.
  • Protein shake mixed with oats. 
  • Greek yogurt with fruit and any nut butter.
  • Crackers with hummus or tuna.
  • Boiled eggs