How to Eat Properly Before and After Your Workout

There’s more to it than you think.

If the saying”You Are What You Eat” has any real meaning, then I am in fact the extremely oversized burrito that I had for lunch today. Sure, you could get your swole on every day at the gym but if you don’t balance your diet and consume the right things, then those washboard abs you’ve always dreamed of will drift further and further away. Eating right can not only optimize your workout, but it’ll give you the proper energy to power through the day, making you feel like you’ve accomplished plenty when you’ve still yet to brush your teeth. 

Fitness expert and personal trainer Don Saladino of Drive495 (the guy who trains Ryan Reynolds and Sebastian Stan, among others) shared his expert tips on how to hone in on your diet and figure out how to have an all-around great workout experience. By following his guidelines and expertise, you’ll be walking around naked in no time. 

What to eat before a workout can really be dictated in reference to how your nutrition has been from the day before. That being said, there are a few different option here that you can follow.

A photo posted by Don Saladino (@donsaladino) on Sep 5, 2015 at 8:47am PDT

If you’re training first thing in the morning, you need to recognize what you did the night before. If you ate somewhat carb heavy and are feeling full, I recommend one to only consume a protein and some veggies. A healthy fat like coconut oil can be added in as well. This will help with brain function as well and work with your fat storage to burn as fuel. 

If you choose to train in the morning, but didn’t consume many carbs the night, then I recommend having gluten free oats, rice or fruit with a protein source.  You’re going to need to burn some carbs as fuel. If you don’t do this, you could potentially could get light headed and have a poor workout. 

For people training midday and in the evening, I’d recommend to get your last carb meal in at least 3 hours before working out. Have just some protein and veggies 30-60 minutes before starting to exercise. This will help improve alertness and brain function. Post-workout, make sure you consume roughly 40-80 grams of carbs depending how your process it.

Pro tip: Start on the lower end and see how you feel. If it doesn’t feel like enough, than add some more carbs. This is a huge mistake that people usually make. Individuals try to go low carb and end up not replenishing there loss of glycogen. This can set you up for a loss of blood sugar throughout the day and unnecessary cravings.  If you’re not sure what to eat, try 2 scoops of Garden of Life protein with about 3oz of fresh dates, and you’ll be good to go.

As a pre-workout, BCAA and L Glutamine is great, as well as some organic coffee or espresso for morning/midday training sessions. Caffeine is not recommended before evening workouts as you might have a very difficult time falling asleep. If you feel you’ve completely overindulged the night before and wake up feeling disgusting, I would recommend:

– 16oz of Water


– Glutamine 

– Caffeine

If you workout on just this, you’ll burn off your storages from the night before and actually notice that your energy is very good. This is a solid solution after a night of drinking.  Make sure you get a healthy post-workout meal with a good balance of protein and carbs, and you’ll be good to go. 

Photos by Getty Images