What Should I Eat Before a Physical Therapy Session?


A smartly timed snack can make a big difference for your body before and after any workout. During a physical therapy workout especially, your body is focused on building muscle, regaining strength and then afterwards it’s recovering from your activity. One of the most important things you can do to get the most out of your pt session is to give your body the fuel it needs to complete the exercises and and then recover. We often get asked by patients “What should I eat before a physical therapy session”? You definitely want to focus on getting some carbs, fiber and protein into your system well before your appointment (not as you’re walking in the door).

Here are some delicious fuel-packed snack ideas that you can easily start to include into your pre-physical therapy routine.

Yogurt parfait. It may sound fancy, but it takes no time at all to throw together a delicious yogurt, fruit, and grain combo. Grab some protein-packed Greek yogurt (vanilla or strawberry make a great base). Top it with some cut up banana, strawberries, blueberries, or any of your favorite fruits! Then you can take it to the next level by adding some granola and a pinch of chia seeds.

Whole orange smoothie.  One word- yum! Making s smoothie with the whole orange is the real deal, because you get the added fiber benefits from using the peel. You won’t need any sugar packets to sweeten it up, and it takes advantage of the entire fruit so nothing goes to waste. Check out this awesome recipe from LiveStrong.

Oatmeal. This is a classic morning staple, but it’s also high in protein. There are  tons of recipes online to mix up this delicious snack. Throw in some apples, bananas, almonds, pecans – whatever floats your boat.

Apple Peanut Butter Energy Bites. Apples and peanut butter are fabulous combo, but upgrade it a bit. Toss some raisins and chia seeds on top and you’ve got a powerful snack that you’ll love. There are plenty of to-go options with both peanut butter and almond butter if you’re in a rush. Recipe via Kristie’s Kitchen.

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup flaxseed (ground)
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup & 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup grated apple

Rice Cakes & Almond Butter. The best thing about this snack is that it’s gluten free, easy to put together, and still tastes good. It’s a great way to add in some healthy carbs to power you through a physical therapy session or gym workout. Another plus is that rice cakes don’t go stale as easily as bread, so they are a good snack to keep around for a couple weeks at a time!

There are plenty of healthy carb-friendly, fiber and protein packed snacks that can you get through your appointment or workout. You definitely won’t want to eat anything too greasy or heavy, as you’ll risk feeling bloated and lethargic (and you really won’t be feeling motivated to work hard). So grab something light and healthy before you head to your next physical therapy appointment to make the most of your time.

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