Your best pre and post workout meals + timing




As my hill climbing season finished yesterday and with my first TR plan looking large next week I want to really pay attention to my nutrition from now on. I feel it’s an area to make some free gains to improve my performance.

I work in an office, from 8am until 4pm, arriving home at 5pm (car commute = 1 hour), training will commence at 6pm. So let’s say for a workout of 60-90 minutes of higher TSS, so maybe 80+ what are you go to pre and post workout meals to ensure the session gets nailed and also recovered from? Information on timing would be good although I guess in general 2-3 hours prior to training is normally the way to go.


Your best pre and post workout meals + timing

You have a fairly similar schedule to me.

If I have a high calorie burn workout scheduled I will have a bowl of oatmeal or a sweet potato around 3:30 or 4. For me that clears out of my stomach and fuels me for the ride. If I’m doing something easier (<1,000 calories) I don’t do anything specific other than my normal lunch timing (lunch at 12ish, fresh fruit x2 spread between 1-3).

Afterwards I don’t eat a ton of calories, but will vary quantity based on how big the workout was. I eat enough to ensure I’m refueled, but I don’t sleep well if I eat a lot.

For me it is less about the specifics of what I eat, but the timing of the calories. If I’m doing 1500 calories on the bike and thus need 3,500 total - I want to make sure I’ve eaten 2,500 of those by 3-4 PM so that I don’t have to binge after the ride

However, I do typically eat pretty clean. Lots of salads, sweet potatoes, white meat poultry, pork tenderloin, oatmeal, etc. The only ‘messy’ foods I typically eat are on the bike where I keep up some simple sugars so that my body doesn’t reject them on race days


Normally 5-600 calories around 2-3 hours before. Home made sandwiches and a piece of fruit or two. A fairly evenly balanced meal macronutrient wise, usually moderate to low fat.

Does me fine for a 1200-1400 calorie burn in 90~ mins.

I eat the majority of my calories PWO but come from an IF background. Currently experimenting with 24hr fasts.


I love this question! I always eat before a workout, of course unless I’m working out directly in the few hours after lunch or breakfast.

Pre, 1-2 hr out

  • supermarket banana pancakes with spelt flour (healthy-ish), current favorite!
  • banana
  • baked sweet potato + fresh salsa (I bake the SP in the weekend)
  • 1-2 slice of bread with cheese or tahini
  • small bowl of cut oats with oat or soy milk

Post: 200-300mL soy milk (3.5g protein per 100mL + sugar), either chocolate or vanilla taste. I take less if the workout was low intensity. then real food within the next 1 hour.

I find that both the pre and post-workout fuelling really helps me to be fit for the workout and eat “normal” throughout the rest of the day.


I’m fairly unusual in that I like to eat right before I start my ride.

For a normal trainer session, I wake up, drink a cup of coffee and eat banana and/or a bagel with homemade peanut butter and jump on the trainer 5 -10 minutes after.

If I’m going for a longer ride on a weekend, I’ll make an egg and breakfast potato scramble with onions, bell peppers and cheese maybe 30-45 minutes before I jump on the bike. (This is probably pretty heavy for most people, but I have an iron gut and it’s my weekend treat)

Afterwards, I just focus on getting a good meal with whole foods within 45 minutes or so.

A few of my staples are:

  • Taco Salad with chicken, beans, corn, homemade salsa, romaine, onions, bell peppers, and hot sauce
  • Whole wheat pasta with either pesto sauce or spaghetti sauce wand a chicken breast
  • Grilled teriyaki chicken with rice and quinoa and steamed broccoli

I just cook a bunch of chicken in advance so that I can serve it up a bunch of different ways.