6 Sustaining Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks to Fuel You Throughout the Day

6 sustaining pre and post workout snacks

Regular movement and exercise are essential to keeping your body healthy and keeping you happy. Your body loves good sleep, invigorating and mindful movement, sunlight, water, and the nutrition that is good for your body and your microbiome.

Productive workouts require energy. Not only is it important to have sufficient energy before your workout, but after, as well. Fueling your body efficiently is the name of the game, with snacks and mini-meals created with the right foods to give you the right amounts of carbs, protein, fats, and calories to sustain you throughout the day.

Take a look at these quick and easy ideas for delicious snacks to pack and grab before hitting the gym, barre class, or trail, as well as after you’ve finished your routine.

3 pre-workout snacks to fill up your tank

Try to get in a snack about an hour before your activity session. This gives your system time to digest, and the energy should sustain you during your workout.

Carbohydrates are the ideal form of energy, especially if you’re going all-out with a HIIT regimen or cross-training routine. Include a little fat and protein to help with keeping you feeling full.

The trick with a snack is to eat enough (in terms of macro intake and serving size) to tide you over, but not as much as a full meal, unless your regimen is intense enough to require it.

Banana and peanut butter on whole-grain toast: 

peanut butter banana

Bananas contain natural sugars (fructose) for quick energy, potassium for muscle function and help with preventing cramping. The fat from the peanut butter and carbs and fiber from the whole-grain toast fill you up and keep you satisfied.

Full-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries and oats: 

yogurt granola berry

Berries give you complex carbohydrates for lasting energy, plus fiber to help you feel fuller, longer. You get an extra boost of carbs from the sprinkling of toasted oats. The yogurt gives you protein for muscle growth and recovery, plus fat to help you feel fuller longer.

Whole-grain waffle with avocado: 

avo waffle

The carbohydrates from the waffle will give you the energy you need in your workout. Avocado’s good, monounsaturated fats and fiber (5 grams in half an avocado!) will sustain your fullness. Sprinkle with everything-but-the-bagel seasoning for extra zing!

Recipe: homemade whole-grain waffle

While you can find some versions of whole-grain waffles in the freezer aisle, this recipe will help if you’d like to keep your waffle as clean as possible. Some healthy flour options include whole wheat flour, sprouted whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or Kamut flour. Choose whichever is best for your body.


1 ½ cups flour of your choice

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

Large pinch salt

1 large egg*

1 ½ cups milk of your choice*

3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp ghee*

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat your waffle iron. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the egg, milk, butter, applesauce, and vanilla in another bowl, then combine with the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix. A few lumps are OK. 

Ladle about ½ cup of batter into your waffle maker (adjust the amount as needed for the size of the grid), and cook according to the directions for your waffle iron. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot, or store for future snacks and reheat in your toaster oven.

Makes 6 waffles. Refrigerate in a sealed zip bag for 4 days or freeze for up to 5 months. 

*Notes: You can elect to make your waffles vegan by using a vegan egg substitute, non-dairy milk, and an alternative oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil. 

Keto-friendly options for your pre-workout routine

If you like to keep your carbs—even the simple carbohydrates in fruit—low, here are some ideas for snacks that are more keto-friendly:

  • Full-fat dairy Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with a few cherry tomatoes or strawberries for extra flavor (and minimal carbs).

  • Sliced avocado sprinkled with a little everything-but-the-bagel seasoning for extra flavor.

3 Post-Workout Snacks to Power Your Recovery

Just as you’ve fueled up pre-workout, your body will need additional energy to get through the rest of the day, especially if you have a high-intensity regimen. Eating a post-workout snack not only gives you that extra boost to sustain your energy, but will also help you maximize the benefits of your workout.

Focus on getting protein for muscle growth, some carbs for energy, and some sodium to replenish what you’ve lost through sweat. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate. Try these snacks to help keep you going after your exercise session. 

Almond butter and apple slices: 

apple almond butter

Almond butter provides protein and sodium for your muscles, and apple slices give you carbohydrates for energy and fiber to make you feel full. 

Hard-boiled egg and sprouted wheat toast: 

egg toast

An egg is a nearly perfect food, with 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 65 mg of sodium, and 72 calories in just one egg. Paired with the fiber and carbs from sprouted wheat toast, this combo makes a great snack. 

Cashew milk yogurt and granola: 

yogurt and granola

Cashew milk is a great choice if you prefer a dairy-free bowl, but there are great versions of yogurt made with coconut, almond, and soy milks. Try to stick to the plain, unsweetened versions where possible. The yogurt provides your muscles with protein, and the granola provides a little crunchy sweetness, plus whole-grain carbs and fat to sustain you through the day. 

Recipe: No-sugar-added, homemade granola recipe  

There are many options for granola on your store shelves, but they can come with lots of added sugars, fats, and other ingredients you may not want. Try this recipe if you’d like to keep your granola simpler and healthier.


3 cups rolled oats (organic if preferred)

1 cup chopped hazelnuts (or other preferred nut)

½ cup flaked, unsweetened coconut

1 cup chopped cashews

½ cup pumpkin seeds

3 egg whites*

¼ cup avocado oil

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ground cardamom

Pinch of Himalayan salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together the oats, coconut, seeds, and nuts in a large bowl. In another, combine the avocado oil, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Pour this over the dry ingredients and stir to coat with the oil. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they foam and become mostly opaque. Fold the egg whites into the granola mixture in the large bowl until completely combined. 

Spread out the granola across a baking sheet, pressing down to evenly distribute. Bake for about 50 minutes, stirring halfway through and keeping an eye on it to be sure it doesn’t brown too much (oven temperatures may vary). Remove and cool for about 25 minutes. Break the granola up into pieces and store in an airtight container. Keeps for about 7 days.  

Keto-friendly options for your post-workout regimen

These Keto-friendly snacks for after your workout session are delicious and full of protein and fat for muscle repair:

  • Collagen protein powder smoothie: Add in some unsweetened cocoa powder and full-fat coconut milk for a creamy, smooth flavor

  • Eggs, eggs, eggs: Enjoy one to three eggs any way you like, whether hard-boiled with some salt and pepper, quick-fried in ghee, or scrambled with a little cheddar cheese sprinkled on top. 

Have a great workout and enjoy!