APFT Prep from Guard Your Health


You know what it takes to physically prepare for the APFT, but have you thought about what you should be eating? Food is your fuel; what you eat affects your performance. Use these tips from Guard Your Health to find out what to eat and drink before and after the APFT, and use this infographic as a quick guide.

The Night Before

The food you eat the night before your APFT can be just as important as what you eat the morning of the test. Eat a simple, balanced dinner that includes carbohydrates and lean proteins. This will allow your muscles to feel energized in time for your big day.

Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, tortillas, and quinoa are all excellent carb choices. For a meal that won’t weigh you down, pair your healthy carbs with a lean protein, like fish or poultry, or high-protein vegetables, such as beans or dark leafy greens. Most importantly, stick to what you know. Eat what works well for your body in preparation for test day, and wait until after your APFT to try new foods.

The Morning Of

Eat a meal that’s high in complex carbohydrates, like oatmeal or whole wheat toast. Complex carbohydrates will keep you feeling full and provide you with long-lasting energy all morning long. To give your muscles a boost, fill up on a moderate amount of protein. Consider adding almonds to your oatmeal or having peanut butter on your toast. An omelet or hard-boiled egg are also great choices.

Preparing your breakfast and snacks the night before can help calm some of your pre-test anxiety. Lay out your ingredients before you go to bed and pack a “go-bag” with drinks and ready-to-eat snacks. Granola bars, low-sodium beef or turkey jerky, and dried fruit are nutritious and will provide a much needed energy boost throughout the day.

The Afternoon After

Filling up on protein after your APFT will help your muscles recover. Your muscles break down when you run; strength training exercises, like push-ups and sit-ups, also cause tiny tears in your muscles. Fill up on protein-packed snacks like a turkey sandwich, Greek yogurt, or a banana with peanut butter. Chocolate milk is not only delicious, but it’s been shown to have great post-workout benefits.  

Whether it’s before, during, or after your APFT, proper hydration is key. Prevent muscle cramps and fatigue by drinking plenty of water. Grab a sports drink or add lemon to your water to help replenish lost electrolytes. Find how much water you should be drinking with this hydration calculator.

Passing the APFT requires a daily commitment to personal health and fitness. Find more tips on how to prepare for the APFT here.


Guard Your Health (www.guardyourhealth.com) is a health and medical readiness campaign for Army National Guard Soldiers and their families sponsored by the Army National Guard Chief Surgeon’s Office. Guard Your Health provides Army National Guard Soldiers with the information, motivation, and support to overcome challenges and make healthy decisions for themselves, their families, and their units. To learn more about improving your health, visit the Guard Your Health website, like “Guard Your Health” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ARNGHealth), and follow @ARNGHealth on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ARNGHealth). For more tips to max your APFT and stay mission ready, subscribe to FitText, Guard Your Health’s text message program, by texting FIT to 703-997-6747.


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