Your body is your vehicle — keep your engine running with the proper nutrients before hitting the gym. Stick to quality carbohydrates, lean proteins and heart-healthy fats and fluids to maximize your performance. Stay energized with these pre- and post-workout tips:
Before your work out
1. Drink plenty of fluids.
Stay hydrated by drinking large quantities of water one to two hours before your workout.
2. Load up on carbs and fruit.
Have a small meal or snack that’s packed with carbs — like whole-grain pasta, rice or bread — and don’t forget to add some fruits and veggies. Try these ideas:
- Brown rice
- Banana with almond butter or peanut butter
- Multi-grain crackers with hummus
- Oatmeal with berries
- Apple and walnuts
- Smoothie (if you’re eating right before an intense workout)
3. Skip the sugar and fat.
Candy, cookies and other sugary or high-fat treats can leave you feeling sluggish. Grab a piece of fruit before your workout.
After your workout
1. Drink more water.
2. Refuel with carbs right away.
Enjoy a small snack that’s rich in carbs. The sooner you refuel, the better you’ll feel. Plan ahead and pack your snack (like a peanut butter sandwich).
3. Pack in the protein.
Have a hearty meal that includes lean protein like chicken, tuna or a baked potato to repair your muscle tissue. Here are some ideas to maximize your workout benefits.
- Salad with roasted chickpeas with light olive oil and vinegar
- Sauteed or steamed vegetables (sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli)
- Salmon and lentils
- Quinoa bowl with black berries and pecans
- Multi-grain bread with raw peanut butter
- Whole grain pasta with chicken
- Beans, brown rice and avocado
These are general guidelines, so do what works best for you.