Nutrition Before and After Sports!

nutrition before and after exercise

“Nutrition” and “Sport”. We cannot separate these two words or say that I will only pay attention to one of them. They are so intertwined that if we give up on one, it definitely affects the efficiency of the other. Here, I will give the answer to the question of how nutrition should be before and after sports for those who want to both exercise and pay attention to their nutrition. It should not be forgotten that your purpose in sports will determine the order of your diet. In other words, the order of someone who wants to lose weight and someone who wants to improve sports performance may be different. You can take 1 pen, 1 sheet of paper and 1 cup of coffee and start reading.

How Should Pre-Sport Nutrition Be?

Exercising on an empty stomach is not recommended in terms of continuity. If we have a main meal, 4 hours should pass, and if we have a snack, 2 hours should pass. The reason is that after eating, the focus of the body becomes the stomach and the blood flow goes to this area to a large extent. In addition, movements such as bending over can cause the food in the stomach to recoil, which can lead to some discomfort over time. Before sports, our aim should be to consume foods that will keep us full for a long time. Let's get started;

Carbohydrate Intake

Carbohydrate-containing foods should be included in pre-sport nutrition. Because they are our primary energy source. The only thing we need to pay attention to is the types of carbohydrates. We describe carbohydrates in two classes, complex and simple. Simple carbohydrates are carbohydrates that quickly raise and raise blood sugar levels. That's why they get hungry quickly. The type of complex carbohydrates we recommend, on the other hand, digest slowly and have high fiber content. In this way, they balance blood sugar and prevent us from losing strength during sports. What are these if we say:

  • Complex Carbs: Bread and pasta with whole wheat, bran or rye flour, buckwheat, bulgur, oats, lentils, dry beans, kidney beans and dried legumes such as chickpeas are the carbohydrate types we prefer. We can also use milk, yoghurt and kefir in this class because of their long digestion times and their protein-carbohydrate-fat content.
  • Simple Carbs: Tea sugar, fruit and fruit juices, rice pilaf, bread and pasta made from white flour, honey, jam, molasses, etc. products fall into this class and should not be consumed before sports.

Oil Consumption

You can consume healthy fats in certain portions before sports. Due to their high energy content, they provide long-term satiety. They also play an important role in the improvement of blood parameters. The main sources of healthy fats are foods such as olive oil, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower oil, olives. If we consume them without exposing them to high heat, we can do our sports both in a healthy and satiated way.


We can consume vegetable proteins such as legumes before the exercise, if there is no gas complaint. We can also consume animal protein sources.

Coffee: A black coffee drunk about 45 minutes before the sport helps to speed up both metabolism and fat burning.

Water: There should be sufficient water consumption before sports by evenly distributing it throughout the day. We also need to drink enough water during exercise.

pre workout nutrition
Nutrition before and after sports

How Should Nutrition After Sports Be?

Nutrition after exercise is much more important than before. At this time, which is seen as a window of opportunity for the development of our muscles and repair of muscle damage, nutrition should be as follows:

Simple Carbs

Individuals who plan to improve sports performance and increase mass should consume a small amount of simple sugar as soon as possible in their eating habits after sports. This is an important point in maintaining and increasing muscle mass. It can be called a good place for fruit consumption.

Complex Carbs

These are the types of nutrients that should be included in the main meal, which should be done approximately 1-2 hours after sports.


The most important point of the sport is to consume quality protein as soon as possible after it is over. The most important source of this is animal protein. Especially eggs, red meat, chicken, fish, cheese should be your primary choices.

I have shared with you the recommendations that we should pay attention to in pre- and post-exercise nutrition habits. These suggestions are of course more customizable and should be personalized as well. You should do this with a nutritionist for your purposes. In addition, another type of food that has a place here is food supplements, known as supplements. However, since it is a long subject, it would be more accurate to mention it in a different context. See you in another article series, stay well…

Last updated April 16, 2022