To make it as simple as I can, I will give examples of foods that you can ingest before, during, and after exercise. Remember this doesn’t replace your meals; those are nutrient dense and healthy. Right before exercise, about 15 minutes, that is where you are “topping off your gas tank.” If required, taking a carbohydrate during exercise can spare the glycogen stores in your muscles, limiting your fatigue. Lastly, feeding your muscles after a workout is the best way to prepare for your next one. So with no further adieu, the breakdown of fuel sources!

List of Fuel Sources


2-3 hours before (300-400 calories – mixed sources)

*12 – 20oz of fluid

1. Bagel w/ 1T cream cheese & jelly

2. English Muffin w/ 1T peanut butter & small banana

3. 2 eggs & 2 slices of toast with jam

4. 2 toaster waffles & 2T maple syrup

2 hours before (Up to 300 calories – mixed sources)

*12 – 20oz of fluid

1. English Muffin w/ 1T peanut butter

2. Large sweet potato topped w/ Greek nonfat yogurt

3. Plain Bagel

4. Clif Bar

1-2 hours before (Up to 200 calories – up to 50g carbs)

*10-20oz of water

1. Homemade fruit smoothie: 1 C low fat yogurt, ½ C berries.

2. 1 packet of oatmeal & 1 clemetine

3. ½ peanut butter & jelly sandwich

4. Small box of raisins & 8oz sports drink

15-30 min before (Up to 100 calories – up to 25g carbs)

*7-10oz of water

1. ½ C applesauce

2. 1 slice of toast & 2tsp jam

3. Small banana

4. Gatorade Prime 01/ or 1 sports gel

Immediately before (Up to 60 calories – up to 15g carbs)

1. One Rice Cake

2. Medium orange

3. ¼ Bagel

4. ½ sports gel or up to 8oz sports drink

*Especially for athletes who are use to less food and/or have GI problems, practicing with fueling is key. Too much food before a race/training run can definitely impair performance, just as much as being under fueled.


*Refer to previous blog on types of workouts that require fuel and how much you will need.

  1. Sport Beans (1 package) = 25 carbs
  2. Pretzel Nuggets (20 pieces) = 25 carbs
  3. Clif Shot Blocks (3 pieces) = 24 carbs
  4. Powerbar Gel (1 packet) = 27 carbs
  5. Boiled Potato (1 small) = 27 carbs


*Recovery fuel begins within 15 min – 1 hour after activity and it helps to prepare you for your next workout. You will need a combo of a carb and a protein. Refer to the previous blog on which workouts require fuel.

First determine how much protein & carbs you will need based on your weight. Follow the chart below:


Examples of recovery SNACKS – NOT MEALS!

  1. Cheribundi Natural Recovery (8oz)= 30 carbs; 8g protein
  2. Chocolate Milk (12oz) = 39 carbs; 12g protein
  3. Gatorade Recover 03 = 14 carbs; 16g protein
  4. Greek Yogurt, fruited non fat = 21 carbs, 14g protein
  5. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich = 45 carbs; 12g protein

*Recovery doesn’t end with this one snack. In about 2 hours, have a larger nutrient dense meal.

Additional Quickly Digested Carb Sources

  1. Bagel, large = 60g
  2. Baked potato, medium (6oz) = 36g
  3. Honey Nut Cheerios (1 C) = 30g
  4. Orange Juice (16oz) = 60g
  5. ZICO Coconut Water (11oz) = 15g
  6. Powerbar Gel = 27g


*****I haven’t forgotten about hydration, so stayed tuned for that!*****