Eating for the Orange Zone: How you fuel your body makes a difference

Base, push, all out! But first, let’s see what you’re eating. Exercising in the Orange Zone yields long-lasting benefits that are difficult to match with any other one-hour workout. By eating properly before, during and after your workout, you can boost those benefits to the max.

Food is energy; consider it your fuel. You need to put the right kind of fuel into your body to boost your ability to burn calories.
  • Hydrate with water (plenty with meals, plus two cups, two hours before working out).
  • Consume a blend of simple and complex carbohydrates to kick-start your energy and keep it going for a steady release of energy during exercise.
  • Avoid saturated fats and even healthy proteins, which digest slowly, using oxygen and energy-delivering blood that would otherwise go to your muscles.
Orange you glad you ate these?
  • Toast with banana
  • Yogurt with trail mix (dried fruits, nuts, and seeds)
  • Oatmeal with fresh fruit
  • Apple with almond butter
Stay hydrated while working out to balance fluid loss and avoid experiencing symptoms like fatigue, muscles cramps, and dizziness. Water regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, and helps deliver nutrients to the parts of your body that need them.
  • Take small, frequent sips of water.
  • Sports drinks are usually best reserved for outdoor sessions in the humidity and heat—or for those who sweat a lot.
  • It’s unnecessary to eat during Orangetheory’s highly effective one-hour workout, but if you engage in other exercise activities longer than an hour, aim for 50-100 calories every half hour.
If needed, eat these:
  • Raisins
  • Energy bar
  • Banana
Help your body recover from exercise by making consumption choices that repair muscles, support joints, reduce inflammation, balance insulin levels, restore glycogen, and more.
  • Hydrate with water (including one cup within 30 minutes after) and 100% juice, if needed, for carbohydrate intake.
  • Carbohydrates and protein can be stored as energy in your muscles to aid in the recovery process.
Reward your time in the Orange Zone with these:
  • Salmon and a sweet potato.
  • Grilled chicken and mixed vegetables.
  • Veggie omelet and an avocado.
Things to Keep in Mind
The point of working out isn’t so you can eat more; it’s to get healthy! But eating right doesn’t necessarily mean eating less, either. It’s about giving your body what it needs so it can be your vehicle to live life. Nutrition and exercise are equally important for a fit, healthy lifestyle, and both depend on quality, not just quantity.

Everyone’s body is different. Your certified fitness coach at OTF Chicago-Edgewater may have additional advice on the best fuel tailored to your specific goals and needs.

Help #OTFNation get motivated to eat right by sharing a pic of your workout-friendly meal on Instagram or Twitter and tagging us @otheoryfitness, so we can share it!


© 2011-2017 Orangetheory Fitness, all rights reserved.

*First-time visitors and local residents only. Certain restrictions apply. $28 minimum value. At participating studios only. See studio for details. Orangetheory®, OTF® and other Orangetheory® marks are registered trademarks of Ultimate Fitness Group LLC. © Copyright 2017 Ultimate Fitness Group LLC and/or its affiliates.
**SELECT studios are subject to higher pricing than our standard rates. A visit surcharge will be charged for services received at SELECT studios.


Our Commitment

Orangetheory® Fitness is committed to facilitating the accessibility and usability of its website,, for all people.  To that end, Orangetheory® Fitness is in the process of implementing functional improvements to consistent with relevant portions of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA (“WCAG 2.0 AA”).  You can find additional information about WCAG 2.0 AA at

Contact Orangetheory® Fitness With Your Accessibility Questions

Please be aware that our efforts are ongoing.  If you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of, please contact us at [email protected] 




Chicago - Edgewater

1126 West Granville Ave

Chicago, IL 60660