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Pre Workout & Post Workout Meal: Do it right!

fuel pre and post workout meal packages
Content Editor & Ecotrophologist
Leyla is an ecotrophologist. She writes articles for foodspring about nutrition and healthy living. She also creates free food programs to help you eat healthy.

Still not quite sure what your ideal pre- or post workout meal should be? We’ve got your solution right here. Fresh out of our test kitchen, just for you. Curious? Keep reading!

Why appropriate nutrition is the key to your workout routine

Imagine you’ve got a car, but the tank is empty. Without the power that petrol brings, your car won’t move an inch. Even worse: if you put the wrong sort of gas in, you can even damage your car’s motor. And that metaphor applies perfectly to your body, as well! Without energy in the form of calories, your body simply can’t fulfill its vital functions.

When you’re giving your all in every workout, and your everyday life is also active, your body requires more energy. What you choose to eat before and after your workout determines not only how you feel, but also your body’s performance.

Your calorie needs depend on a huge range of factors. On the one hand, your height, weight, and hormone composition dictate some of these needs. On the other, the length and intensity of your workouts can change how many calories you burn. Let us help you calculate not only your energy requirements, but also your BMI and other fitness facts just for you! Get started with our free Body Check to get more personalized support.

To go back to the example of the car: With the right fuel, your car’s engine will simply purr. And for your body, in much the same way, it’s not only the right number, but also the right kind of calories that can make the difference.

What should you eat before your workout? What’s best after you’re done sweating? Do you have everything you need in your fridge? Good news: you don’t need to have the answers to these questions anymore. Our R&D team has outdone themselves with their newest innovation. It’s a totally new category of product for us here at foodspring.

Hard Facts about Fuel

Ready-to-eat meals have never been gourmet fare. We know what you’re thinking: bland flavors and an endless list of ingredients. We’ve been there. That’s why Fuel has such a short list of ingredients, none of which are unnecessary additives! We only put in what you and your body need for a delicious meal with real, organic ingredients, for before or after your workout.

Fuel is a savory, warm meal that’s ready in just five minutes. It’s vegan, and it has no flavor enhancers and no preservatives. With all those “no”s come a few things we did say yes to: plant-based protein and healthy fiber. Fuel comes in two delicious options, each with its own ideal macronutrient distribution for before or after your workout. Our new ready meal keeps you on your toes no matter what the situation.

A package and a plate full of foodspring's Fuel ready meal with a granite cutting board to one side holding bright, thinly sliced bell peppers. Behind the cutting board is a pot holding a small basil plant.
©foodspring
Fuel up your body

Pre-Workout Pasta

Have you ever felt heavy and tired when starting a workout? It could be the food you ate beforehand. If you eat foods that are slow to digest, or too soon before your workout, your body will be using a huge part of its energy for digesting instead of for training. A smart meal, on the other hand, will support you and your workout. Push yourself through every rep without a second thought for your stamina.

No time to cook? How would you feel about a heavenly Fuel Pre Workout Pasta Pomodoro that’s ready in just 5 minutes? All you need is water. 10 grams of plant-based protein and a source of fiber are right there in the package, ready for you.

A selection of raw ingredients are laid out in a circle, pie-chart-style. Pasta makes up about half the circle, with the other sections of the pie formed by cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, a chunk of sunshine squash, a head of garlic, leaves of fresh parsley, carrot slices, and sunflower seeds.
©foodspring

Post-Workout Rice

You’ve given it your all in your workout. Now it’s crucial for you to refill your energy reserves. Our Fuel Post-Workout Rice delivers with 11 grams of plant-based protein per serving, and is high in fiber, to boot. Give your body back everything it’s earned.

No matter what your goal is, balanced nutrition is always the foundation. We recommend that you give yourself a full and balanced range of macronutrients. And if you’re not sure which macros need special attention? Read on and we’ll explain everything you need to know.

A selection of raw ingredients are laid out in a circle, pie-chart-style. Pasta makes up about half the circle, with the other sections of the pie formed by cherry tomatoes, basil and parsley leaves, a chunk of sunshine squash, a red onion, a red bell pepper, carrot slices, and sunflower seeds.
©foodspring

Side Note: The importance of macronutrients in sports

Before and after your workout, but also in your day-to-day nutrition, carbohydrates are your number-one energy source. Your body can make its energy by breaking down carbs or breaking down fats. Proteins are the building blocks of your body and support essential bodily functions.

Carbohydrates are stored in the form of glycogen in your liver and your muscles. This storage space is limited, though, and for longer endurance pieces it sometimes runs out. The speed at which your glycogen storage runs out depends on, for example, how intense your workout is – but also on how much glycogen you had in your body’s storage when you started. When your body’s glycogen storage is totally depleted, your body turns to creating energy from fats. Your body’s fat storage is much larger than its carb storage capacity.

So why should carbs still be your go-to energy source? Because getting energy from carbs is simply more effective. When your body breaks down fats, it gets less energy (in the form of ATP per liter of oxygen) than when it breaks down carbs. As you can imagine, what that means for your workout is that your body can’t keep up with the intensity.

We aren’t saying that you should avoid fats. Mono– and polyunsaturated fatty acids are an important macronutrient which delivers energy, builds cell membranes, and helps in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. These fats belong in every balanced nutrition plan. How much you need for sports is centered around your daily nutrition.

As we’ve described, proteins are your body’s primary building blocks and they fill important purposes in different metabolic processes. Plus, getting your protein via nutrition can lead to growth and maintenance of muscle mass.* Proteins can also benefit from being eaten in combination with carbs. Together, they help the body release more insulin, which requires the muscles to intake more branched-chain amino acids in response. This increased insulin concentration also supports protein biosynthesis. If you’re interested in more facts about this blood sugar hormone, try reading our article about insulin.

A white, high-edged plate shows a serving of foodspring's Fuel Pasta Pomodoro pre-workout meal topped with a few round, browned vegan meatballs and a sprig of fresh basil.
©foodspring

Should you eat before or after your workout?

Both! A balanced nutrition plan includes meals before as well as after workouts. Provide your body with energy 2-3 hours before your workout of choice with a meal that combines proteins and carbs. In the hour or two before your workout, reach for easy-to-digest snacks instead. These are sources of quick energy.

When your workout’s done, refill your body’s energy tanks with complex carbs. If you can’t imagine life without your post-workout protein shake, make sure you’re going for proteins that are easy to digest. Unlike with glycogen synthesis, your body’s protein synthesis stays elevated for a full 24 hours after your workout. Make sure you’re giving yourself the full spectrum of amino acids by choosing a variety of protein sources throughout your daily meals. This generally takes care of itself if you’re eating a balanced diet.

The most important thing is always to listen to yourself and your body. Setting any kind of post-workout timer is just going to add to your stress levels. Every single body is unique! You’re the only one who knows for certain what’s best for your own body before and after your workout.

Here’s what our R&D team has to say about our new ready meal

So, you want to know more about what makes our Fuel so special and how we developed it. Andreas, our Head of R&D, takes us behind the scenes…

foodspring and fast food hardly seem like a good fit. How do you make it work?

The phrase “fast food” has negative associations, and people most often use it when they’re talking about unhealthy food. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Our Fuel is a balanced meal, made from real ingredients, which is quick and simple to prepare. The macronutrients it contains are tailored to support an active lifestyle.

Which macronutrients does Fuel have, and why?

Our Fuel Pre Workout Pasta is full of high-quality carbohydrates and gives you the energy you need for your workout. Our Fuel Post Workout Rice is especially high in protein, which is an optimal nutrient for your body after your workout’s done. We’ve kept the serving sizes small to ensure you don’t feel overfull after your meal.

What goals can Fuel support? Shape? Muscle building? Healthy lifestyle?

Fuel was developed to provide you with energy before your workout and support your recovery after your workout. Thanks to the optimal macro balance and the small portion size, our ready meal is suitable for all sorts of training goals and dietary needs. Fuel is great whether you’re in the gym, practicing yoga, or just on the hunt for a quick and balanced meal for your busy everyday life.

Can you combine the two products? If so, how?

Definitely! You can eat the Pre Workout Pasta before your training, then enjoy your recovery with our Post Workout Fuel with rice and lentils. Our new Fuel is a balanced meal with real ingredients, which means you can simply plan it into your everyday nutrition plans however it fits with your goals and your energy needs.

Why does the pre-workout meal have pasta, while the post-workout meal has lentils?

The durum pasta we’ve chosen is a good source of complex carbs, making it a great pre-workout choice. Lentils have a higher protein content, which your body can put to best use after your workout of choice.

Why is Fuel a must-have on everyone’s shelf? What aspect of Fuel is the R&D team particularly proud of? 

We kept hearing the same consumer feedback again and again: It’s so hard to eat healthy with our busy lives. Work, family, and other commitments get in the way of planning and cooking nutritious meals suited to workouts. Our goal was to develop the perfect convenience meal, without compromising on taste or on our clean ingredients. We are incredibly proud that we were able to make Fuel organic and fully plant-powered!

What challenges did you face during the development process? 

We had three big issues:

  • Not using any additives or preservatives,
  • Making sure our product would be not only fully plant-based, but also organic, and
  • Finding the perfect balance between macros and delicious flavor.
    I think we managed to master all of them!

What steps are included in the development process at foodspring?

First, we identify a clear consumer need and a gap in the market.

Then, we took a look at what was already on the market. There were tons of options, but were full of unnecessary additives or endless numbers of ingredients whose macro values didn’t balance out. Some of the portion sizes were just too big, and would leave you feeling full or bloated before a workout.

Our next step was to source the high-quality and organic ingredients that would set our ready meal apart from the rest.

And finally, we went through tons of tests and tastings until we were sure we were totally satisfied with the final product.

Summary

  • Pre and post workout meals support you in your day-to-day balance between life and workouts.
  • Before sports, Fuel can give your body the energy it needs to go the distance.
  • After sports, use Fuel to refill the energy reserves you’ve drained at the gym, on the field, or in the studio.
  • Fuel is a convenient ready meal that provides an optimal balance of macros.

* Proteins contribute to gaining and maintaining muscle. This statement can only be given for foods that meet the minimum requirements for a protein source in compliance with EU regulation (EC) no 1924/2006 as listed under SOURCE OF PROTEIN.

Article sources
We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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