Enhance Your Workouts By Fueling Yourself Before & After

Written by Sarah Koszyk

Adequately fueling yourself before and after a workout is important for optimizing recovery, increasing energy, and controlling hunger. Whether you work out in the morning or the evening, make sure to have a pre-workout snack.

Many people aren’t accustomed to eating a snack before a morning run and choose to run without fueling. A quick snack before a morning run will stimulate your metabolism and give your body the energy it needs to enhance your performance and ultimately decrease your minute per mile.

All snacks should include both carbohydrates and protein and average about 150 to 200 calories. Carbohydrates give you the energy your body needs. Protein helps your body process the carbohydrates and helps with satiety. When we combine both proteins and carbohydrates, we also have better blood sugar regulation. Last of all, the carbohydrate/protein combination will actually stimulate that metabolism even more while satisfying hunger levels.

Everyone is different from what snacks they like or what snacks work with their digestive system. Make sure to pick a snack that works with you and your gut. Here’s a list of simple, easy snacks to have before a run or workout that is less than 90 minutes long:

  • 1 Banana & 6 Almonds
  • 1 medium Apple & 1 Light String Cheese
  • 1 Hard Boiled Egg & 5 Dried Apricots
  • 1 slice Toast & 1 Tbsp. Almond Butter
  • 1 Corn Tortilla & 2 oz. of sliced Turkey Deli-meat (make a wrap)
  • ¼ cup Granola & 2 Tbsp. Cranberries Mix (make your own trail mix)

After the workout, enjoy your regular breakfast or dinner for the post-recovery fueling. Eat the meal within 15-30 minutes post workout so you can enjoy a faster recovery and reduce feeling sore later. Also, exercise increases ghrelin, our hunger hormone, which can cause us to feel ravenous later on in the evening or the next day. By having a post-workout meal/snack, you can better control your hunger and refrain from over-eating or making poor food choices.

What are you fueling with today?

Sarah Koszyk is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach at MV Nutrition, San Francisco’s premier weight loss clinic, where she specializes in adult and pediatric weight management and sports nutrition. Follow Sarah on her blog, Family. Food. Fiesta. where she provides recipes, videos, and health tips for the entire family.


Spicy Soy Sauce Marinade with Pork and Bok Choy

I love the marinade for this recipe! I’ve marinated pork tenderloins, salmon, chicken, and tofu. My two favorite protein choices with this marinade are pork or salmon. This recipe is also very fast and easy which makes it even better for the person on-the-go.


  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh red Thai chili or cayenne chili pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch-thick medallions
  • 1 pound bok choy, chopped (you can substitute with cabbage if you can’t find bok choy)


Whisk soy sauce and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add garlic, ginger, chili, and oil. Place pork in a Ziploc bag and add the marinade. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Chop the bok choy. Over medium-high heat, cook the pork tenderloin on 1 side for 4-6 minutes (depending on thickness). Flip it over, add the bok choy around the sides of the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for another 6-8 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 4 ounces of pork, 1 cup bok choy)

CALORIES 191; FAT 5.5g (sat 1.7g); PROTEIN 27.8g; CARBOHYDRATE 6.7g; FIBER 1.0g; SUGAR 5.6g; SODIUM 311.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 83.3mg; CALCIUM 90.5g

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