Peloton and Food: What to Eat Before and After You Exercise

When it comes to Peloton and food, the first thing you may think about is this: what’s the best thing to eat before and after you exercise. Well, tastes and opinions vary.

Peloton instructor Matt Wilpers swears that a banana is what gets him through a hard workout. He calls it bringing a snacky snack along.

Other instructors favor a more protein-heavy menu for what to eat after cycling.

However, as none of the instructors is a registered dietitian, they are prohibiting from offering you and me–Peloton users–nutritional counseling. It’s not wise for them to recommend a Peloton diet plan or a Peloton meal plan. They leave that to the professional–the RDs!

peloton food what to eat before and after at studios

Speaking of RDs, I am not one either. This post on Peloton and food is based on my own opinions and research. It is not designed to be medical or nutritional advice, just for your information only.

Peloton and food

Of course, what kind of exercise you’re doing will heavily affect what you eat before and after you workout. It’s no different with Peloton and food, and what your diet should be to enhance your energy for the best workout possible.

After having our Peloton bike since 2016, I’ve found that if I have a Greek yogurt shortly before getting on my bike–or even the yoga mat–I’ve got enough energy for a 60-minute ride or a 45-minute class.

What to eat before a Peloton class

What to eat before a Peloton class depends a lot on how you feel about eating before a workout. For years I couldn’t do it. As I mention later on this blog post, many Peloton instructors do not eat before teaching a class. However, as I’ve gotten old, like many things, my feelings about eating before a workout have changed.

Like I said I find that a Greek yogurt about 30 minutes before a Peloton class is perfect. It gives me enough energy to last at least an hour. Plus, it means I won’t start a class with a rumbling tummy to distract me.

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In addition to that little pre-Peloton class snack, I always keep plenty of water on hand. For every 30 minutes of a Peloton class, for example, I’ll have a full 16-ounce water bottle nearby. I prefer these Tervis Tumblers with a straw.

I recommend them in my best Peloton accessories article as well as mention them in my posts on products with lifetime guarantees.

Nuun Electrolyte Replacement

I know that Peloton instructors like Matt Wilpers have partnered with brands like Nuun. These are products that you add to your water to replace electrolytes lost during exercise.

Nuun makes a whole collection of sports-, health- and immunity-related products. So does Liquid IV. Here is my review of Nuun vs Liquid IV.

What do Peloton instructors eat

While the instructors can’t tell you what to eat, many of them have done interviews revealing what they eat each day. In fact, it wasn’t too hard to find articles online about what Peloton instructors eat.

It was a bit surprising to see that nearly all of the instructors interviewed do not really eat before teaching classes. Most have a coffee or tea with some sort of fat (coconut oil) or protein (protein powder) mixed in. What do they eat after spin class or teaching a Tread class? Many–both male and female–do some sort of smoothie. 

What to eat after spin class

One of my favorite post-ride snacks is making a smoothie. I’ll make it with a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt and a cup of water. Usually, I’ll add in a sprinkle of Stevia to make it a bit sweet. 

peloton and food banana strawberry smoothie

Or, I’ll make a blueberry smoothie using Greek yogurt. It’s so delicious and refreshing after busting my butt on the bike for an hour. Oftentimes, I’ll drink it so fast I’ll end up with brain freeze.

Then, after I shower, I’ll move onto my post-cycling meal. That often involves protein, too. Scrambled eggs with low fat cheese–love my Babybel light rounds–and chopped up tomatoes over arugula.

My post cycling meal

post cycling meal peloton and food

As far as the Peloton diet, specifically Robin Arzon’s diet, a New York Times article says that Arzon hydrates throughout the day and drinks at least a gallon of water each day. She’s also vegan, and because she’s a Type 1 diabetic, is strict with checking blood sugar and what goes into her body. 

Peloton and diet

It’s no doubt that you’re getting a great workout on your Peloton bike or Peloton Tread. I don’t know about you but I never sweat as much at the gym as I do working out at home using my Peloton.

That being said, when it comes to Peloton and diet–as in losing weight–you have to keep the basics in mind. And what are the basics about losing weight with your Peloton? Calories in and calories out.

Well, maybe not that simple but you get the idea. If you’re eating more calories than your body needs–even with exercising–you’re not going to lose weight.

Can you lose weight with Peloton?

peloton and food diet before and after

So, can you lose weight following a Peloton exercise and food plan? Of course you can. But you have to be disciplined. I wrote in depth about my Peloton transformation last year following the Noom program and riding my Peloton. I even joined a Noom Peloton group on Facebook.

However, at the same time, I’ve had lots of my Peloton friends talk about losing weight with Peloton by following a macronutrient diet. Not all the way keto, but definitely a higher-protein way of eating. In case you don’t know, tracking macronutrients is all about fat, carbohydrates and protein. Not calories. Not Points like Weight Watchers.

My friends found that this kind of Peloton diet helped them to lose fat and build muscle. Many were following something called Stronger U.

Peloton and food and weight loss

I was intrigued with this different way of eating, since, frankly, Noom has gotten a bit old. I mean, one of my biggest criticisms of Noom is that it is on the phone only. I’m not criticizing the program overall, because it definitely works. But I am interested in perhaps switching things up a bit, now that I’ve seen the success people have had “counting” macronutrients.

So I’m giving Stronger U a try for the next few months. It also offers one-on-one nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian who emails and texts you. But I’ll save that for another blog post. Since I’ve found that eating more protein after my Peloton workouts seems to work well for my body, I’m excited to learn more about this way of eating.

Peloton calories

When it comes to using your Peloton for weight loss, here’s something important to keep in mind: as far as Peloton calories go, you definitely want to wear a heart rate monitor.

I love my Scosche armband monitor.

As the graphic below shows, when you do not wear a heart rate monitor, the Peloton may over estimate how many calories you are burning. If you’re using calories burned as food earned–and you’re not using a heart rate monitor–you may be overestimating how many calories you have burned. Eat back those calories–which we’ve just established may be skewed–and you won’t lose weight.

peloton heart rate monitor

I mentioned in my Noom review that I was really impressed with how the program dealt with calories burned. The program wants to “reward” you for exercising by giving you some additional calories in your day. But Noom never gives you more than 50 percent of what you burned. This way you’ll still keep your daily calorie count at a deficit so you can continue to lose weight.

Peloton and food plus meal prep services

If you’ve read my review of the best meal kit services, then you know that our family loved cooking with Hello Fresh and Sun Basket. This was before we had a Peloton in our lives, but I’m thinking of going back to the meal kits.

Why? Because over on the Peloton Reddit page, I saw a ton of people talking about their favorite meal prep services. These are the people who are trying to following a healthy Peloton and food plan so they can lose weight and get in shape.

Some of the companies they raved about and recommended to others included:

Another healthy meal kit to try is Green Chef; here’s my review.

Final thoughts on Peloton and food

While I would love to look like a Peloton instructor, I don’t teach exercise classes for a living. Therefore, having their body or following their Peloton and food plan just doesn’t make sense for mere mortals like me.

However, the fact that most instructors prioritized protein, even those that were vegan, reinforced how important that macronutrient is when exercising regularly using your Peloton. I’m excited to see the results from bumping up my protein intake with my new, macronutrient-focused eating plan.