06/06/2014 08:20 am ET Updated Aug 06, 2014

Workout Nutrition Illustrated: What to Eat Before, During and After Exercise

We all know that what you eat is important, but so is when you eat, especially if you're active. That's why, in this infographic, I'll share what to eat before, during and after exercise.

Workout nutrition illustrated. What to eat before, during, and after exercise.


1. Click here for a fully printable version of this infographic.

2. For a complete explanation of this infographic, including a review of the latest research, check out this accompanying article: "Workout Nutrition Explained: What to Eat Before, During and After Exercise."

3. For more about using your hand as a portable portion guide, check out this article: "Forget Calorie Counting: Try This Calorie Control Guide for Men and Women."


John Berardi, Ph.D. is a founder of Precision Nutrition, the world's largest online nutrition coaching company. He also sits on the health and performance advisory boards of Nike, Titleist and Equinox.

Dr. Berardi was recently selected as one of the 20 smartest coaches in the world by, the internet's most popular fitness site.

In the last five years, Dr. Berardi and his team have personally helped over 30,000 people improve their eating, lose weight, and boost their health through their renowned Precision Nutrition Coaching program.



Aragon AA, Schoenfeld BJ. Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window? J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Jan 29;10(1):5.

Baty JJ, et al. The effect of a carbohydrate and protein supplement on resistance exercise performance, hormonal response, and muscle damage. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 May;21(2):321-9.

Berardi JM, et al. Postexercise muscle glycogen recovery enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Jun;38(6):1106-13.

Bird SP, et al. Liquid carbohydrates/essential amino acid ingestion during a short-term bout of resistance exercise suppresses myofibrillar protein degradation. Metabolism. 2006 May;55(5):570-7.

Bloom PC, et al. Effect of different post-exercise sugar diets on the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1987 Oct;19(5):491-6.

Burk A, et al. Time-divided ingestion pattern of casein-based protein supplement stimulates an increase in fat-free body mass during resistance training in young untrained men. Nutr Res. 2009;29(6):405-413.

Burke LM, et al. Effect of coingestion of fat and protein with carbohydrate feedings on muscle glycogen storage. J Appl Physiol. 1995 Jun;78(6):2187-92.

Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Nov;38(11):1918-25.

Deglaire A, et al. Hydrolyzed dietary casein as compared with the intact protein reduces postprandial peripheral, but not whole-body, uptake of nitrogen in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct;90(4):1011-22.

Desbrow B, et al. Carbohydrate-electrolyte feedings and 1h time trial cycling performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Oct;14(5):541-9.

Elliot TA, et al. Milk ingestion stimulates net muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Apr;38(4):667-74.

Erith S, et al. The effect of high carbohydrate meals with different glycemic indices on recovery of performance during prolonged intermittent high-intensity shuttle running. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Aug; 16(4):393-404.

Erskine RM, et al. Whey protein does not enhance the adaptations to elbow flexor resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(9):1791-1800.

Esmarck B, et al. Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans. J Physiol. 2001 Aug 15;535(Pt 1):301-11.

Farnfield MM, et al. Plasma amino acid response after ingestion of different whey protein fractions. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008 May 8:1-11.

Fox AK, et al. Adding fat calories to meals after exercise does not alter glucose tolerance. J Appl Physiol. 2004 Jul;97(1):11-6.

Greenhaff PL, et al. Disassociation between the effects of amino acids and insulin on signaling, ubiquitin ligases, and protein turnover in human muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Sep;295(3):E595-604.

Haff GG, et al. Carbohydrate supplementation and resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):187-96.

Hoffman JR, et al. Effect of protein-supplement timing on strength, power, and body-composition changes in resistance-trained men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2009 Apr;19(2):172-85.

Hulmi JJ, et al. Acute and long-term effects of resistance exercise with or without protein ingestion on muscle hypertrophy and gene expression. Amino Acids. 2009;37(2):297-308.

intermittent high-intensity shuttle running. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Aug;16(4):393-404.

Ivy J, Portman R: Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition. North Bergen, NJ: Basic Health Publications; 2004.

Ivy JL, et al. Muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise: effect of time of carbohydrate ingestion. J Appl Physiol. 1988 Apr;64(4):1480-5.

Jentjens RL, et al. Oxidation of combined ingestion of glucose and fructose during exercise. J Apply Physiol. 2004 Apr;96(4):1277-84.

Jentjens RL, et al. Oxidation of exogenous glucose, sucrose and maltose during prolonged cycling exercise. J Apply Physiol. 2004 Apr;96(4):1285-91.

Jentjens RL, Jeukendrup AE. Determinants of postexercise glycogen synthesis during short-term recovery. Sports Med. 2003;3(2):117-44.

Jentjens RL, Jeukendrup AE. High rates of exogenous carbohydrate oxidation from a mixture of glucose and fructose ingested during prolonged cycling exercise. Br J Nutr. 2005 Apr;93(4):485-92.

Jeukendrup AE, et al. Carbohydrate-electrolyte feedings improve 1h time trial cycling performance. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Feb;18(2):125-9.

Jeukendrup AE. Carbohydrate during exercise and performance. Nutrition. 2004 Jul-Aug;20(7-8):669-77.

Keim NL, et al. Weight loss is greater with consumption of large morning meals and fat-free mass is preserved with large evening meals in women on a controlled weight reduction regimen. J Nutr. 1997 Jan;127(1):75-82.

Keizer HA, et al. Influence of liquid and solid meals on muscle glycogen resynthesis, plasma fuel hormone response, and maximal physical working capacity. Int J Sports Med. 1987 Apr;8(2):99-104.

LaCroix M, et al. Compared with casein or total milk protein, digestion of milk soluble proteins is too rapid to sustain the anabolic postprandial amino acid requirement. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov;84(5):1070-9.

Moore DR, et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):161-8.

Reed MJ, et al. Muscle glycogen storage postexercise: effect of mode of carbohydrate administration. J Appl Physiol. 1989 Feb;66(2):99-104.

Rennie MJ, et al. Branched-chain amino acids as fuels and anabolic signals in human muscle. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):264S-8S.

Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA, Krieger JW. The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Dec 3;10(1):53.

Staples AW, et al. Carbohydrate does not augment exercise-induced protein accretion versus protein alone. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jul;43(7):1154-61.

Stevenson E. Improved recovery from prolonged exercise following the consumption of low glycemic index carbohydrate meals. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Aug;15(4):333-49.

Tipton KD, et al. Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jan;292(1):E71-6.

Tipton KD, et al. Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug;281(2):E197-206.

Verdijk LB, et al. Protein supplementation before and after exercise does not further augment skeletal muscle hypertrophy after resistance training in elderly men. J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(2):608-616.

Wycherly TP , et al. Timing of protein ingestion relative to resistance training does not influence body composition, energy expenditure, glycaemic control or cardiometabolic risk factors in hypocaloric, high protein diet in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2010;12(12):1097-1105.

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.