When I suggest athletes follow a particular diet before and after training, this is usually due to the extremely large volume and the intensity of exercise that they will be doing. A specialised diet will help their body prepare and recovery from each training session, ultimately ensuring that they can compete at their best potential.

When Mums ask me about what to eat before and after training, we need to look at the scenario a little differently. We need to look at some personal questions, Are you breastfeeding? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to maintain weight? Are you trying to fall pregnant? Or are you already pregnant? All of these questions will influence my answer to the initial question!!

The most basic advice I can give for what to east before training follows the general rule are carbohydrate rich foods, low in fat and moderate protein content. This is really aiming to provide the body a good source of energy and minimise stomach upset during training!! It is also best not to eat just as you are pulling up to training!

In regards to eating after training, the general advice I recommend is plenty of fluids (preferably water) to ensure you rehydrate, rich source of carbohydrate and a moderate source of protein. Again we want to limit the fat content and it is always a good idea to avoid alcohol straight after training!!

So you ask, what sorts of food would I suggest? Most of these suggestions are aimed at breakfast being the ‘Pre-training snack’ and morning tea/lunch being the post training snack.

Pre training snack ideas Post training snack ideas
Cereal and low fat milk (if you can exercise on milk) Low fat yoghurt and fruit
Smoothie (made with low fat yoghurt, low fat milk and   fruit) Fruit toast and a milk coffee
Fruit salad and low fat yoghurt Toast with 1 poached egg
Wholemeal/multigrain toast and low fat cheese Cheese and tomato/ham toasted sandwich
  Muesli bar (low fat)

If you did answer one of the earlier personal question with a ‘Yes’ then you may need to add more/less of particular nutrients to these snacks. If you would like further information, have a chat with me and I can provide some advice.


Written by Sally – ShapeUp Mums trainer and resident dietitian.

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