What to Eat Before and After Training

what to eat
I receive this question 5-6X per week.

Funk, what should I eat before and after my training session.

In this article I will give you the information that you need to ensure you nourish your body correctly pre and post workout.

Proper nutrition is the key to getting a consistent and effective training session.

Because combat athletes train at high intensity or roll for long periods of time, you need to ensure that you’re eating right foods to give you energy before your start training and the proper foods that will help you recover faster, burn calories after your session is done and ensure you keep your muscles and stay strong.


When I was training in Thailand my Pre and Post meals were extremely important, especially if I was to get through the 3-hour training session we had everyday. The energy I needed for my sessions were crucial.

Prior to starting your training sessions, the best foods are in the form of slow digesting complex carbohydrates.

Foods low in carbs will release glucose gradually into the blood stream, which is what you want prior to your session to help prolong physical endurance.

Don’t forget that it’s just as important to eat smart after your workout has subsided and you’ve come down.

If my training started at 7:00AM, that meant that I was up and eating at 6:00AM.

Before you workout your body needs ample time to digest what you’ve put in it.

A good rule of thumb is always to wait 30min – 1 hour prior to training. You want to make sure that you have enough time to digest the food before you embark on your crazy workout.

The right foods alone won’t get you through a workout – you’ll have to get the right hydration with water while you exercise.

You should drink at least at least 16 ounces of water two hours before a workout, and about 6 to 12 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. (An ounce is about a mouthful.)

Post Workout

The most important meal for a fighter is POST TRAINING meal and that includes.

You will need to increase your carbs after your training sessions. A meal with fast-absorbing carbohydrates, high-concentration proteins and certain other nutrients.

You should have at least 3-1 Carbs to Protein after your finished. Sometimes ever 4:1 if it’s you seconds or third training session of the day.

By replenishing the carbs that you burned in the hour to an hour and half after the session you actually put the body in a better position to perform at a high level again, sooner.

After training your body is completely drained of all glycogens stores and you need carbs to replenish them.

Something to consider is that when there are not enough carbohydrates in your body and you are performing a high intensity activity, the secondary fuel source in this case is protein.

Not only is protein not a clean fuel source (due to nitrogen) but it is talking away from your muscles and hence will have a more difficult time repairing and restoring those muscles after your workout.

The only time your body will use fat as a secondary fuel source is at a low-intensity level of exercise.

If your body does not get these nutrients it needs right after your workout, you are flushing a lot of your training efforts down the drain.

You will also weaken your fat-burning metabolism. You will also lose muscle, suffer more pain, have more fatigue and your performance will suffer the next time you train or workout



Some food suggestions prior to a workout include:
▪ Vegetables like celery, cucumber, tomatoes
▪ Low-fat greek yogurt
▪ Peanuts
▪ Fresh fruit such as cherries, plum, peach
▪ Apple
▪ Oatmeal
▪ Healthy Cereal
▪ Oat bran bread


Post workout smoothie

Post workout you can increase the protein to restore those muscles.
Some suggestions are:

▪ Post Workout Shake with 3-1 Carbs to Protein
▪ Bagel with jelly
▪ Baked potato
▪ Rice
▪ Stir-fried chicken and vegetables over brown rice
▪ Eggs
▪ Fish
▪ Beans
▪ Tofu
▪ Watermelon, banana
▪ Meat protein


Any foods with a lot of fat can be very difficult and slow to digest and remain in the stomach a long time.

They also will pull blood into the stomach to aid in digestion, which can cause cramping and discomfort.

Doughnuts, fries, potato chips, and candy bars should be avoided.

I suggest not to have any sugar prior to your workout as some people do not perform well after a blood glucose spike.

If you’re squeezing a workout into a busy schedule, you may be tempted to grab a protein bar on the way out the door, but DON’T DO IT.

Most bars are “glorified candy bars, often providing even more calories and are likely to be loaded with sugar.

Caffeine had been thought to boost endurance by stimulating a greater use of fat for energy, and thereby reserving glycogen in the muscles. Research, however, doesn’t seem to support that theory.

When caffeine improves endurance, it does so by acting as a stimulant.

Caffeine can have serious side effects for some people.

Those who are very sensitive to its effects may experience nausea, muscle tremors, and headaches. Too much caffeine is a diuretic, and can result in dehydration, which decreases performance.

If you are a coffee drinker then you can have it before training by adding Coconut Oil to make a Bullet Proof Coffee variation – Check out this video

In conclusion, if you’re going to invest the time to put into your training, workouts and in competition, then it’s imperative to nourish your body correctly pre and post workout.
Final Tips

– Eat a snack with protein and slow digesting carbs prior to training
– Drink lot’s of water during training session
– Post workout meal needs to be at least 3-1 carbs to protein

Train Hard, Eat Healthy, Fight Eazy!

Your Coach and Friend

Funk Roberts

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