Are you always fighting an internal debate about what you should or shouldn’t eat before and after working out? Do you wonder if it is even necessary to grab something to munch on in this situation?

These questions are essential to ask because having the proper fuel in your body will encourage a stable mood, better energy, and improved results. This process will also influence the likelihood that you’ll decide to work out again the next time you have a spare moment.

There isn’t a cookie cutter solution here. Your physical needs are unique. When you decide to exercise, your personal goals, and the types of workouts that you do will also dictate your food choices.

These are the items you’ll want to consider eating before and after your workout. 

Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout

1. Quickly digestible carbohydrates, like a small banana, a few grapes, a half-glass of fruit juice, or a 1/2-cup of dry cereal will give you some energy to get moving.

2. A light breakfast, such as an English muffin with about 1 tablespoon of nut butter, a few banana slices, or an apple with peanut butter, will give you energy for a sustained early morning workout session.

3. A 200-calorie snack is an excellent choice for a mid-afternoon workout, focusing on higher carbs if you plan to do some cardio work. Look for a whole-wheat tortilla, a turkey sandwich, or even some oatmeal with fruit as an option here.

4. Strength training requires more low-fat protein options, so think eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and your favorite fruit and nuts.

Best Foods to Eat After a Workout

1. Shorter workout sessions (60 minutes or less) only need your pre-exercise snacks or meals for fuel. If you consume anything other than water, then you may offset the calories you just burned off.

2. Endurance exercise of 90 minutes or more benefit from foods that are 30g to 60g of carbs for every hour that you continue to exercise. Look for sports performance chews, gels, and drinks that won’t cause gastrointestinal distress while you’re moving.

3. Crackers, pretzels, and bananas are useful for long-term exercise sessions that are longer than 60 minutes. Recovery snacks should stay beneath 300 calories to achieve the best possible results. Try whole-wheat products, raisin bread, and cottage cheese to have something tasty and healthy.

4. Chocolate milk is an excellent source of protein and sugar replacement if you go through an extended workout session. You could also try some Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts for an extra recovery boost. Flavored kefir is another popular option to look at today. 

There are plenty of foods you might be tempted to eat before, during, or after a workout, but that doesn’t mean you should be consuming them. Everyone has unique needs that must be met, so speak with your doctor about what you should or shouldn’t include with your nutritional plan to maximize your workouts.