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Core Knowledge


The Science of Workout Nutrition


To build strength and lean muscle, you need to fuel your body properly before and after your training session. By eating the right foods at the right times, you'll have more energy to train, you'll recover better from intense workouts and you'll maximize the muscle building process.

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Pre-Workout Fuel

Many people work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  While exercising is a great way to start the day, eating something is essential to maximizing results. Even if it’s just half of an apple or a pre-workout shooter, which is something like a watered down glass of orange juice with a scoop of whey protein or simply a glass of water with a scoop of whey, the time it takes to whip up a quick snack will pay dividends in the results you see from training.

Recent research has shown that the pre-workout shooter may produce an effect equal to a traditional post-workout recovery shake. Whey protein is great choice because it’s digested fast so it gets to your muscles quickly. Here are a few sample snacks combos: 

  1. 1/2 cup orange juice + 1 cup water + 1 scoop whey protein
  2. 1 scoop EAS Endurathon + 6 to 12 ounces water
  3. 8 ounce smoothie – vanilla whey protein, berries, a little orange juice and ice
  4. Yogurt with 1/2 cup cereal
  5. Energy gel
  6. 16-ounce sports drink
  7. Slice of toast with natural peanut butter
  8. 1/2 energy bar

Post-Workout Fuel

For active people, this may be the most important meal of the day. After a training session, your body craves nutrients to repair damaged muscle tissue. If you’re not feeding your body these nutrients—whether you’re working out or even sleeping—not only will you not optimize your training, but you also risk your body turning to lean muscle stores for a source of energy, an process known as catabolism.

Drinking a shake or sports drink or eating an energy bar after you train will help maximize the muscle building process and expedite your body’s recovery process. Look for something with about 0.8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight and 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks for Vegans

  • Lara bars
  • Odwala bars
  • ElementBars.com (you can make your own bars to fit your dietary restrictions)
  • Whole grain crackers and nut butter
  • Fruit
  • Beans and nuts
  • Soy milk or rice milk
  • Whole grain English muffin with peanut butter

20 Simple Workout Snacks

Use these tasty ideas to power your workout and help you feel great afterwards.


Alex Cao / Getty Images

1. EAS Myoplex Lite Shake
25g protein, 20g carbs
1 shake

2. Chocolate Milk
20g protein, 60g carbs
16-oz serving


3. Fruit Juice + Whey Protein
24g protein, 56g carbs
1 Scoop EAS 100% Whey Protein, 1 cup 100% fruit juice

4. EAS Lite + Banana
36g protein, 46g carbs
1 shake, 1 banana

5. EAS AdvantEdge Complete Nutrition Bar
13g protein, 31g carbs
1 bar


Dano / flickr

6. Pita + Hummus
14g protein, 40g carbs
1 whole wheat pita, 3 tbsp hummus,
1 oz almonds

7. Kashi GOLEAN Roll! Bar
12g protein, 28g carbs
1 bar

8. Peanut Butter Toast
18g protein, 44g carbs
2 slices whole grain toast, 2 tbsp natural peanut butter

9. Apples + Yogurt
14g protein, 27g carbs
1 apple, 1 1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt

10. English Muffin + Almond Butter
10g protein, 30g carbs
1 whole grain English muffin, 2 tbsp natural almond butter


Lilli Day / Getty Images

11. Eggs + Wheat Toast
15g protein, 47g carbs
2 hard-boiled eggs, 2 slices of whole grain toast

12. Subway Sandwich
36g protein, 92g carbs
12-inch Subway turkey breast sub (no cheese)


13. Chicken Marinara Pasta
41g protein, 86g carbs
5 oz grilled chicken, 2 cups whole wheat pasta, 1/2 cup marinara sauce

14. Sandwich + Chocolate Milk
27g protein, 93g carbs
2 slices whole wheat bread, 2 tbsp natural peanut butter, 1 medium banana, 6 oz chocolate milk

15. Oatmeal + Whey Protein
16g protein, 28g carbs
1/2 cup oatmeal, 10 grams whey protein

16. Chicken + Rice
30g protein, 66g carbs
1 1/2 cups Spanish yellow rice, 3 oz lean meat

17. Asian Chicken Stir-Fry
30g protein, 60g carbs
1/2 package Trader Joe's Asian Style Chicken Stir

18. Bean Burrito
18g protein, 48g carbs
1 whole wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup beans, 1/4 cup salsa, 1 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese

19. Quinoa + Chicken
19g protein, 45g carbs
1/2 cup quinoa (dry), 2 oz chicken

20. Asian Noodles + Vegetables
20g protein, 56g carbs
1/2 cup Asian noodles, 1/2 cup sea vegetables, 3 oz tofu

Tags: Supplements, Regeneration, Nutrients, Snacks


  1. Amanda Carlson-Phillips, director of performance nutrition, Athletes' Performance
  2. Verstegen, Mark, and Pete Williams. Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body and Your Life. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 2004.
  3. Verstegen, Mark, and Pete Williams. Core Performance Essentials: The Revolutionary Nutrition and Exercise Plan Adapted for Everyday Use.  Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 2006.
  4. Verstegen, Mark, and Pete Williams. Core Performance Endurance: A New Fitness and Nutrition Program that Revolutionizes the Way You Train for Endurance Sports. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 2007.
  5. Danielle LaFata, performance nutritionist, Athletes' Performance, Phoenix, Arizona



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