The Foods & Nutrition Corner is brought to you on a monthly basis by students in Waukee High School's APEX program. In consultation with registered dietitians from Fareway, students research a variety of nutrition topics focused on improving the well-being of student-athletes. We'll also share a new recipe every month related to the primary topic discussed.

This month's Foods & Nutrition Corner written by Abigail Jones, Waukee APEX Associate

Best Pre & Post Workout Foods for Athletes

Fueling your body is very important for athletes. If you are going to eat before exercise you should try and fuel your body three to four hours before. If you are hungry right before your workout, try to have a fruit or protein smoothie. Pre-workout meals should help maintain steady energy throughout exercise and prevent hunger before or during exercise. Pre-workout meals should be low fat, low fiber, and lean protein. You should not eat new foods that your body hasn’t learned to tolerate yet.

Pre-Workout Meal: Peanut Butter Toast with Bananas

  • Two (2) slices of whole grain bread
  • Two (2) ounces of peanut or almond butter
  • One (1) banana (or any other dried fruit)

The carbs and fat in peanut butter and the complex carbs in the bread will help to provide lasting energy. This pre-workout meal is beneficial to maintain your energy throughout a workout. You can find these ingredients at Fareway, or your local grocery store.

After exercise you should eat a snack within 30 minutes. It is recommended that you have a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Post exercise you need to drink lots of fluids to help with recovery muscle soreness and avoiding dehydration. Right after your workout you should have a snack such as muscle milk, chocolate milk, or greek yogurt with berries and then eat a bigger meal about an hour or two after your workout.

Post-Workout Meal: Stir-Fry Rice Bowl

  • One (1) tablespoon canola oil
  • Two (2) medium carrots, julienned
  • One (1) medium zucchini, julienned
  • ½ cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • One (1) cup bean sprouts
  • One (1) cup fresh baby spinach
  • One (1) tablespoon water
  • One (1) tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • One (1) tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • Four (4) large eggs
  • Three (3) cups hot cooked brown rice
  • One (1) teaspoon sesame oil

Click here for the full recipe from Taste of Home.

This post-workout meal will help to rebuild your muscles and replenish your body after a hard workout. This meal is beneficial to maintaining muscle and an athlete's recovery. You can find the ingredients at Fareway or your local grocery store.


Whitney Hemmer, Registered Dietitian at Fareway Stores

Planet Fitness Pre-Workout Meals

Taste of Home Post-Workout Recipes

The Manual

The IGHSAU Foods & Nutrition Corner is created by high school students in Waukee High School's APEX program. The IGHSAU is thankful for its partnership with Waukee APEX to create meaningful content to share with our member schools, student-athletes, coaches, and fans. To learn more about Waukee APEX, click here.