Why is Nutrition Important?

Nutrition is essential to anyone in their fitness journey. A well-rested eight hours of sleep and a good one-hour workout still leave you with 15 hours of powering your body. While exercising helps with results, a well-balanced nutrition plan can energize your workouts, give you energy to get through the day, and aid in a good night of sleep. Our fitness reps and personal trainers can answer all your nutrition questions but here are a few tips to get you started.

The Pre- and Post-Workout Meals:

Individuals should eat a normal, balanced meal 1-2 hours before and after exercise. This will provide adequate protein and carbs that both fuel the workout and maximize recovery/adaption. What does this look like? Well start simple with an easy measuring system to add up your plate. Instead of calorie counting, just use a hand-measure system for portion sizes. Here how it works:

  • Your palm determines your protein portions
  • Your fist determines your veggie portions
  • Your cupped hand determines your carb portions
  • Your thumb determines your fat portions

For men, use 1-2 portions of each. For women, only use 1 portion of each.

This system counts your calories for you, and gets your macronutrients lined up too, without having to do any annoying food-label math. Your hands are portable and generally scaled to size — the bigger you are, the bigger your hands, so the more food you need and the more food you get.

The Pre-Workout:

If your workout starts within 2–3 hours or more consider:

  • Sandwich on whole-grain bread, lean protein and a side salad
  • Egg omelet and whole-grain toast topped with avocado spread and a cup of fruit
  • Lean protein, brown rice and roasted vegetables

If your workout starts within 2 hours consider:

  • Protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana and mixed berries
  • Whole-grain cereal and milk
  • A cup of oatmeal topped with banana and sliced almonds
  • Natural almond butter and fruit preserve sandwich on whole-grain bread

If your workout starts within a hour or less consider:

  • Greek yogurt and fruit
  • Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients
  • A piece of fruit, such as a banana, orange or apple

The Post Workout:

The primary goal of your post-workout meal is to supply your body with the right nutrients for adequate recovery and to maximize the benefits of your workout. Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption. The following lists contain examples of simple and easily digested foods:


  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chocolate milk
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables


  • Animal- or plant-based protein powder
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Protein bar
  • Tuna


  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)

Sample Post-Workout Meals

Combinations of the foods listed above can create great meals that provide you with all the nutrients you need after exercise.

  • Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables
  • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast
  • Salmon with sweet potato
  • Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Tuna and crackers
  • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana and almonds
  • Cottage cheese and fruits
  • Pita and hummus
  • Rice crackers and peanut butter
  • Whole grain toast and almond butter
  • Cereal and skim milk
  • Greek yogurt, berries and granola
  • Protein shake and banana
  • Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans
  • Multi-grain bread and raw peanuts