Taken from Heidi Smith Nutrition (I highly recommend Heidi's website and book, "Nutrition for the Long Run" to all athletes):
The following is a summarized form of information taken from the book “Nutrition for the Long Run”. For a more detailed description of each topic you can purchase the book from our home page.
What Should I Eat Before Excercise?
Carbohydrate. Meals and snacks before exercise should consist mainly of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are easy to digest and provide fast fuel to burn at the beginning of your exercise session. Some example of carbohydrates are breads, cereals, pasta, potatoes, rice, fruits and vegetables.
Protein. Limit protein as exercise time nears because protein slows digestion, and most people prefer not to exercise on a full stomach. Some examples of protein include meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, cheese and yogurt.
Fat. Limit fat as exercise time nears because fat slows digestion similar to the effect of protein. Some examples of high fat foods to limit are full fat cheese, nuts, fried foods, ice cream, chips and chocolate bars. Some foods have both fat and protein, such as cheese and yogurt. In these cases, as time gets closer to your event, you should choose lower fat versions such as light cheese and low fat yogourt. For example, refer to the diagram below. If you eat 4 hours before your competition, you can have a balanced meal, with mostly carbs, some protein and some fat. If you eat only 1-1.5 hours before, then you want foods that digest quickly; snacks high in carbohydrates with little or no protein or fat such as low fat yogurt, fruit, crackers.
Here are just a few examples of small meals (<500 kcal) that you can enjoy 2-4 hours before exercise. Don’t forget to consume 1-2 cups of water with each meal.
1-2 cups low sugar cereal + 1 cup skim milk + 1 banana
1/2-1 cup vegetable soup + Tuna sandwhich + Fruit for dessert
Low fat muffin + Low fat yogurt + Fresh fruit
1-2 cups pasta + 0.5-1 cup tomato sauce + 1-2 tblsp. Parmesan cheese + 1/2 cup tossed salad with low fat salad dressing
1 cup cooked cereal + 1 cup skim milk + 1/2 cup canned fruit
1 English muffin + 1 boiled or poached egg + 1/2 cup fruit juice
High sugar – cereals, candy, chocolate, pop
High fibre – beans, gassy vegetables, prunes
High fat – full fat dairy, chocolate, high fat meats, deep fried
Fast foods – cheeseburgers, hotdogs, tacos, wings, french fries
What Should I Eat After Excercise?
Pack a Recovery Snack. If you exercise every day or even several times per day you need to maximize your recovery time. The best way to speed recovery is to eat within 15-30 minutes after exercise. Generally shoot for 50 grams of carbohydrate in the recovery snack. A small amount of protein (10-15 grams) may also help muscle recovery. To ensure food is available quickly, pack a snack in your bag as if it's part of your workout equipment. Some snack ideas are listed below. If you are a casual exerciser and recovery is not an issue, a snack of this size after exercise is not essential.
Cereal & Milk
Fruit & Yogurt
Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwich