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pre & post workout snacks

4th January 2017 by Jess

We all have completely different genetic makeups, fitness goals (i.e. fat loss, competition, muscle building, maintenance, or general health), workouts, lifestyles, and metabolisms so any information you read on exercising for workouts needs to be taken with a pinch of salt!

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As a starting point, the following rules apply, but know that your body is unique and the best way to tell if these principles are working for you is to try them
and listen to your body. Then you can course-correct.

Jess, graze nutritionist
top down shoes bag gym snacks

ask yourself the following questions…

  • How are my energy levels before a workout?
  • Do I feel lethargic or tired mid-workout if I’ve eaten something?
  • Am I a morning exerciser or do I train better in the afternoon or evening?
  • How long ago did I last eat?
  • Could I have trained harder during that workout?

The answer to all these questions will all steer your meal choices and pre and post-workout fuel.

Depending on your chosen workout, you might not even need a pre or post-workout aid. If your exercise consists of low-moderate pace walking, cycling or swimming for under 30 minutes then your body can likely hang on until your next meal.

If on the other hand, your bout of exercise involves heavy weight lifting, HIIT, circuit training or any other high intensity exercise or your goal is to gain muscle, then having a pre-workout snack will ensure you have ample energy and can recover efficiently afterwards.

workout snacks infographic

5 pre-workout snacks

  1. coffee - you’ll train harder with the caffeine stimulation
  2. cocoa & vanilla protein flapjack - carbohydrates and a bit of protein are best, keep fats to a minimum
  3. fresh fruits - banana, pears, berries etc, would be perfect and light on the stomach
  4. dried fruit - cherries, berries, apricots, or an all day energizer with cherries, pear and walnuts
  5. green smoothie - with leafy greens, banana and coconut water and some hemp or whey protein

5 post-workout snacks

  1. carbohydrates & protein - keep fat down to a minimum for a post workout recovery formula
  2. a protein-rich meal - pick your protein of choice (eg salmon) with a sweet potato, salad, and a bit of avocado
  3. green smoothie - with spinach, half a banana, coconut water and protein powder to aid recovery, strength and growth
  4. original protein flapjack - carbohyrates from the oats and the protein from the seeds and soy protein
  5. beef jerky - with a banana on the side or some coconut water for an electrolyte top up

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By Jess, graze nutritionist.

Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to Jess's blog at for even more.

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