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Feeling tired even before you start your workout? Try these foods to boost your energy level and get maximum fat burn. Also, what you eat and drink after exercise is essential for recovery. Learn what to eat after your workouts for optimal recovery.

Before workout:

Avocados – Have half an avocado mashed with some lemon juice and sea salt.


Provides healthy doses of fat that an active body will utilize as fuel. Rich in vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K, folic acid and B6. Vit C acts as an antioxidant and can support the overworked adrenal glands. Vit B, the ‘stress and energy’ vitamins are responsible for many body functions. Your body goes through a lot of stress during a workout so this is kind of the magic fruit.

Bananas – Opt for a banana instead of an energy bar.


Rich source of potassium, an electrolyte your body needs but loses during exercise. It’s a nutrient-dense and natural option, it’s also great for preventing muscle fatigue.

Coconut water – Opt for 6-8 ounces of unsweetened coconut water to replenish and avoid unnecessary calories of isotonic drinks.

Coconut Water

If you find water boring, try coconut water which only has a mild coconut flavor and is a natural source of electrolytes. The ideal beverage to consume before and during exercise as less liquid is needed to provide the beneficial minerals. This alleviates the feeling of fullness or bloating which can interfere with optimal exercise performance.

Matcha – Whisk half a teaspoon into 6-8 ounces of hot water for tea or in steamed milk for a latte.


This powdered green tea from Japan is better than regular types of green tea, it contains five times more the amount of the amino acid l-theanine. Although its has caffeine, there is enough l-theanine to cut the jitters. Helps you get intense focus and high energy without the nervous ticks, its antioxidants also help fend off disease and protect against stress.

Raisins – Eat Plain or add a handful to your trail mix.


A portable, tasty snack that provides antioxidants to minimize inflammation. A healthy carbohydrate option that will provide energy for a longer, harder workout.

Walnuts – Add a handful to your home-made trail mix.


This is another way to get heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you’re a non-fish eater. Good fats are necessary and vital to achieve optimal fitness and health. These healthy fats can help with energy production, healing of tissue injuries, sprains and bruises.

Post workout:

Grass-fed beef – Have 4-6 ounces of grass-fed beef.

Grass-Fed Beef

This nutrient-dense food provides amino acids and protein to help with post-exercise recovery and is full of iron which provides energy. Beef from grass-fed cattle have much higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than conventionally-raised cattle and gives you a boost in shedding body fat and building lean muscle.

Cottage cheese – Enjoy a cup for best results.

Cottage Cheese

This protein source can provide all the necessary amino acids your body needs to rebuild muscle and tissues after exercising. A vegetarian-friendly protein source, it also contains other nutrients that can help support an active lifestyle like calcium, tryptophan, vitamin B12 and selenium.

Eggs – Eat a few soft or hard-boiled eggs with some carbohydrates within 45mins of working out.


Eggs, especially yolk and white together, can be an excellent whole-food choice to provide micronutrients and protein. Thos dietary protein is important as it provides our bodies with amino acids which can help build muscles and nourish the body. This helps offset the cortisol response and prevent muscle breakdown.

Olive oil – Add a few tablespoons.

Olive oil

It has health-promoting properties like increasing healthy cholesterol levels, fighting free-radical damage, protecting the blood vessels. Adding pure, extra virgin olive oil to food that’s already been cooked can be a healthy way to add nutrient-dense calories and good fats to a meal.

Salmon – Eat fish rich in mega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, sardines and mackerel.


Fish is another healthy protein that can be eaten after exercising to prevent muscle breakdown. Fresh wild fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. By eating more of these
good fats, you can help prevent or decrease inflammation and pain.

Sweet potatoes – Steam or bake a small or medium sweet potato.

Sweet Potatoes

A healthier alternative to the white potato, it delivers a host of vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and manganese as well as disease-preventing dietary fiber. Starchy carbs like sweet potatoes eaten in combination with lean protein after a workout, act as a catalyst for protein to enter muscle tissue and begin the repair/rebuild process. It’s hypoallergenic and the preferred source of post-workout carbohydrates as it keeps your energy stores up and body fat down.

Author: Rebecca Tan

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