When it comes to your workouts, there’s more to your strength and energy than just the time you put in at the gym. Sleep, recovery and what you eat are just as crucially important to the success of your results, so today we’re going to cover the best foods to fuel your gym workouts. 

Pairing carbs and fats with protein before workouts can help improve your performance and recovery, as well as optimal hydration.  

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Eat a Healthy Breakfast – According to the Mayo Clinic, “if you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to finish breakfast at least one hour before your workout. Be well fueled going into a workout. Studies suggest that eating or drinking carbohydrates before exercise can help you do better during your workout.” 

  • Whole grain cereals, breads or protein bars 
  • Apples and bananas 
  • A protein-rich yogurt or milk (dairy is packed with calcium and protein) 
  • Eggs  

Don’t Overdo it – Watch your portion control before your workouts! Eating too little might not give you the energy you need to keep feeling strong during your workout, and eating too much will leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Focus on smaller meals and protein 1-3 hours before your workouts. 

Keep Snacks on Hand – Most people can eat small snacks right before and during exercise to fuel their energy! 

  • Apples, bananas, or another item of fruit (a fruit smoothie works great too) 
  • An energy bar (look for low fiber) 
  • Peanut Butter 
  • Yogurt 
  • Almonds 

Increase Your Protein and Nitrates – When you exercise regularly, you need more protein than people who don’t, especially after a workout.  

  • Grilled chicken or turkey 
  • Leafy greens – spinach, kale, swiss chard, lettuce and arugula 
  • Beans – black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and split peas 
  • Tempeh and tofu 
  • Almonds and other nuts 
  • Blueberries and cherries are also great post-workout 

Of course, with all of the above, it’s important to make sure you’re staying hydrated. Drink lots of water and watch your caffeine and sugar intake!