Do you ever wonder what you should eat before, during and after you work out? Check out these tips to help you meet your healthy living goals.

Always eat before working out

Whether your goal is to lose weight or add muscle, it is important to eat before exercising. You should eat a small meal or snack 30 to 60 minutes before your workout or a large meal two to three hours before your athletic event. During this snack or meal, eat foods that are full of carbohydrates and high in protein – this will keep you energized and prevent your muscles from getting weak.

If you like to work out in the morning, here are some healthy breakfast ideas that will also fuel your workout:

  • Peanut butter on whole grain toast, a glass of milk or Greek yogurt
  • Fruit, Greek yogurt and a piece of whole grain toast
  • Fruit smoothie with milk, Greek yogurt or almond milk
  • Eggs, whole grain toast and fruit
  • Oatmeal, fruit, nuts and milk

What to eat during halftime

If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s not recommended to eat during your workout. However, if you’re training for a triathlon, marathon, sporting event with a halftime or cycling a long distance, you should eat small amounts of fruit, such as orange slices or a banana.

The most important fuel during a workout is water. While exercising, drink 24 to 48 ounces of water per hour of activity. In the morning, right after waking up, drink 16 ounces of water and then try to drink 90 to 100 ounces throughout the day.

After workout nutrition

After a workout, it’s not necessary to eat. However, if you are hungry, grab fruit to help keep the calorie intake low. Also, avoid drinking sports drinks; instead drink a glass of low fat chocolate milk. Chocolate milk gives your body the protein and electrolytes it needs.

If you work out right before lunch or dinner, eat within two to three hours, but make sure it is at least half an hour before you go to bed.

If you are looking to make changes to improve your diet, meeting with a registered dietitian can help. Find one near you: