What 3 Professional Athletes Eat, Before and After a Workout

They train and eat good food like it’s their job. You should listen to their advice.


“Abs are made in the kitchen.” That little bit of wisdom has likely been pummeled into you, over and over again, by people who claim to have a grasp on fitness nutrition. And they’re not wrong. Generally speaking, nutrition is the most important part of exercise, whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds, bulk up, or train like a madman for some sadistic marathon. But everyone interprets nutrition differently. Often the best advice comes from professional athletes, who train and eat wholesome food like it’s their job. (It basically is.)

Sasha DiGiulian

World-Champion Rock Climber

Pre-workout: I typically have avocado, eggs, and toast for breakfast before working out. I wake up, have a warm glass of water with lemon, then have breakfast. I’ll follow this with an almond milk cappuccino, have about 90 minutes to digest, then hit the gym. I like to work out around 11 a.m. If I am going to go climb in the evening, I will generally have something simple, like rice and chicken or a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.

Post-workout: After working out I have fruit within 30 minutes of finishing. I also try to make it a point to finish my water if I didn’t while training. Then, I’ll have vegetables, protein (either fish or chicken) and a carb, often wild rice, shortly after returning home.

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Ryan Sandes

Ultra-Distance Runner

Pre-workout: Rye toast with [almond] nut butter, with honey and banana on it, plus a cup of coffee in the morning. It is high in energy and sustains me during my training.

Post-workout: Avocado on toast, in a salad or even on its own. I love avocado. Also biltong (a South African version of beef jerky). I also often add glutamine to some fresh fruit juice or a recovery smoothie. If it’s been a really hard session, I’ll drink a Red Bull.

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Cooper Dressler

Team ORACLE Sailor

Pre-workout: For a morning workout, I try to eat a small portion of oatmeal or some toast with jam about an hour prior — just something to pad the stomach, but that’s easily digestible and not too much. This ensures that I won’t get hungry during a workout, and that my body has a little extra fuel to draw upon during a long session. I also usually have a cup of coffee in the morning, but if not then I will have some type of pre-workout supplement (in powdered form, added to water) which includes caffeine and basic carbohydrates. Caffeine can act as a performance enhancer — use it!

Post-workout: Within 30 minutes of completing a workout, I will have some type of protein shake. Again, powdered supplements that can be added to water are great — if I’m aiming to gain weight, then I’ll double the serving size and mix it with whole milk or almond milk. I ensure that the protein shake I’m taking has ample protein, creatine, and BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids.) It’s also nice if it tastes good! If I’m at home I will add any combination of bananas, mixed berries, spinach, peanut or almond butter, and avocado (which makes the smoothie/shake really creamy.) Post-workout meals are about keeping up the calories — as a lot of the time I am trying to maintain a high body weight.

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