This is what you should eat before and after working out, and when

This is what you should eat before and after working out, and when

We all want to know what the best way to fat loss is, and incredibly it can have a lot to do with not just what you eat, but when. Libby Babet explained all on the latest episode of our podcast. 

It’s one of the most asked questions when it comes to exercising and diet: should I eat before or after a workout?

Body+Soul put this question to Libby Babet on the latest episode of the Healthy-ish podcast, and we figured as the former Biggest Loser trainer, an author, and the founder of new, healthy snack brand Beauty Food, Babet would know. Her answer was super interesting, but certainly not cut-and-dry.

“It depends what your workout is, who you are, what your biology is, etc,” she says.

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“[But] research has been hinting many, many times at this the past number of years, and this is one of my favourite little facts because it gives us girls permission to have a little snack before we workout out.”

She explains that men burn more fat while fasting, i.e. on an empty stomach, and then are better off eating something high in protein almost immediately afterwards. Women, however, burn more fat if we have “a little snack before we work out,” says Babet.

So what exactly should we be eating pre-workout?

“A good rule of thumb when you’re going to eat before working out is keep it light,” Babet says.

“A combination of good quality protein, complex carbs, and a bit of healthy fats to sustain your energy throughout your workout.”

Her recommendations include a banana with some nut butter, overnight oats with a bit of honey, or fresh fruit, but adds you should allow for adequate digestion before going for that sweat session.

“[For example] If I’m working out at 6am, I want to be having something to eat at least half an hour beforehand,” she says.


Recovery is just as important, but an oft-forgotten part of being fit and strong, so Babet gives the following advice on refuelling.

“You just need to eat a well-rounded meal within 60 minutes after working out,” she says, so that includes good quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and veggies.

“Fats are not super helpful immediately post-workout, for men or women,” she says.

“So I wouldn’t go having, straight after walking out of the gym, going to smash an avocado.”