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Build a Sandwich for Peak Athletic Performance

  • author name McKenna Welshans, MBA, RD, LDN, ACSM-EP
healthy sandwich

A sandwich is a versatile meal that can be great for both pre-workout and post-workout fuel. However, what you put in your sandwich should differ depending on when you’re eating it.

Pre-Workout Sandwich

If consuming a sandwich one to two hours prior to exercise, it is beneficial to limit fat and fiber while increasing carbohydrate content. Fat and fiber slow digestion, causing the food to hang around in your stomach. This increases the potential for stomach upset during your workout.

During high-intensity/sustained activity, you need a large portion of carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar. Build a pre-workout sandwich with these ingredients:

healthy sandwich 
  • White bread (larger roll)
  • Lean deli meat (chicken, turkey, etc.)
  • Mustard
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles
  • Small portion of cheese
  • Side of fruit

Post-Workout Sandwich 

After exercising, muscles need protein for recovery and carbohydrates for re-supplying their stores. Fiber and fat will help keep you full longer as your metabolism is increased over the next several hours.

Here’s an example of a few swaps you can make to mirror these guidelines: 

healthy sandwich 
  • Whole grain bread
  • Deli meat (larger portion) 
  • Cheese (normal portion)
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Side of Greek yogurt
author name

McKenna Welshans, MBA, RD, LDN, ACSM-EP

McKenna Welshans, MBA, RD, LDN, ACSM-EP is a sports nutritionist with LG Health Physicians Sports Medicine. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees and a dietetic internship at Messiah College, double majoring in nutrition and exercise science. She ran collegiate track before transitioning into ultra-endurance triathlon competitions. She is passionate about personalized nutrition for both performance maximization and health.

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About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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