Dialling in your pre & post workout nutrition

Posted by One Academy on

Dialling in your pre and post workout nutrition is going to be a key factor in crushing any fitness or health goal.

Your pre workout meal is designed to fuel your body for performance. Whether you’re running, lifting, or a combination of both, this meal should give you enough energy to sustain the session. Your post workout nutrition is designed to refuel your energy stores within the muscle and stimulate growth through muscle protein synthesis.

Getting the right nutrients for these meals is essential because the cycle of using energy and building it back up is what helps us progress.


Fuelling your movement.

Classes at One Academy can feel like a cross-country trek, so you’re going to want a full tank for the trip. One to two hours before your class or personal training session, aim to consume 20 to 40 grams (one to two palm-sized portions) of protein. This measurement will be based on body weight, so if you’re lighter with a moderate amount of muscle, opt for the lower end measurement.

Carbohydrate intake will vary depending on your body weight and diet preference but aim for 25% of your daily carbs in your pre-workout meal. For this meal, you should aim to incorporate simple carbohydrates that are lower in micronutrients and fibre to ensure you don’t impede digestion during training. That said, if this meal is two or more hours prior to training, don’t worry too much about simple carbs and focus more on carb sources that make you feel good and sufficiently fueled!

As for fats in your pre-workout meal, try to keep them on the lower end – up to 10 grams or one tablespoon – as they are slower to digest.

If you’re an early riser and find yourself training first thing in the morning, you can opt for fasted training. The important thing here is to see how your body reacts to no pre-workout fuel. However, if your overall goal is to build muscle, your best bet is to opt for an easily digestible snack with protein and carbs, such as a protein coffee and banana, or cream of rice with egg whites.

Looking for some pre workout fuel inspiration? Check out these ideas to get you started!

Protein Oatmeal

45 g or ½ cup oats
1 tbsp ground flax

Cook the oats, flax, cinnamon, and salt in the microwave with enough water to cover it for 2 minutes. Stir in the protein powder, top with nut butter and berries! This is great to make the night before and bring with you in the morning – yummy hot or cold!


Pre-Workout Energy Balls 

1 cup oats 
½ cup almond or peanut butter
4 Medjool dates (softened - remove pits and soak in boiling water for 5 minutes)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 scoop protein powder
2 tbsp cacao powder (optional for chocolate)
2-4 tbsp water, as needed
Sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Form into 10 balls and store in the fridge or freezer. Pair one or two of these with a protein shake or protein coffee (just blend ½ to1 scoop of protein into your coffee and add desired creamer)


Rebuild and recover.

Ensuring our body has the appropriate nutrients to support recovery is how we progress. After your workout, it is important to get in carbohydrates and protein within one to two hours to maximize muscle growth and repair. It also helps you feel energized and focused post workout, carrying you through the rest of your day.

For your post workout fuel, you want to aim for enough protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis: about 20 grams (or one palm) of protein. Just as with your pre workout meal, shoot for another 25% of your daily carb intake to help restore glycogen levels and initiate muscle repair.

For post workout fat intake, keep this at the lower end – up to 5 grams – to not slow digestion.

Shaking up a post class smoothie is a great way to make sure you’re meeting these guidelines. The shake at the OA Cafe has a good balance of post workout nutrients to aid in your recovery, so that’s a great way to cap off a class! 

Looking for some post workout snack or meal ideas to kick start your recovery? Check out the recipes below!

Protein Shake:

1 scoop protein
¼ cup egg whites (optional)
½ to 1 banana
1 cup milk of choice
Other fruits for added micronutrient value

Blend them all together and enjoy! Egg whites act as an easy-to-digest protein source and make for a frothy shake. Adding other fruits is optional – go for frozen if you enjoy a thicker shake!

Post-Workout Nourish Bowl

1 chicken breast, baked
½ sweet potato, baked
2 cups mixed greens
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard 

Pre-cook a few days’ worth of chicken and sweet potato to make yourself a quick grab-and-go option! Fill your bowl with mixed greens, top with chicken breast, sweet potatoes, and toss in the dressing. So simple and so delicious!


Some food for thought.

Remember that your food is fuel to help your body perform and crush goals. These are simply guidelines – as coaches and everyday people, we must emphasize consistency, not perfection. Ensuring you don’t hold the concept of “perfect” dietary habits on a pedestal fosters a healthy relationship with food and day to day flexibility. 

This information can be a lot to digest, and adjusting measurements to your personal needs might be a bit of a guessing game. If you’re not sure where or how to start, reach out to our team about one-on-one nutrition. And don’t forget to pop by the OA Cafe to see our current offerings! 


By: Haley James


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