Foods to Eat Before and After Working Out

Just as important as breaking a sweat every day is how you’re fueling and re-fueling those sweat sessions.

Research shows the simplest way to lose weight faster, burn the most calories, feel energized and get the very most out of our workouts: EAT. (And we’ve never heard more glorious news.)

What you’re eating (or not eating) before a workout dictates how effective it is. If you skip out on food before you exercise, your body goes into “survival mode” and draws protein from muscle (the wrong place) instead of from your kidneys and liver (the right place), causing you to lose muscle mass and slow your metabolism.

According to sports nutritionist Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, the best things to load up on for energy and endurance are quality carbs, lean proteins, healthy fats and plenty of fluids. Any combination of these will help you burn calories and keep you energized without weighing you down.

But if you leave Barry’s Bootcamp thinking your work is done, think again—part of the process is nourishing your body post-workout as well.

Within a few hours after working out, your muscle protein drops and your muscles being to break down. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine, eating (or drinking) something combining protein and carbs immediately after a workout is imperative. Studies show that eating 30 minutes to an hour after you exercise strengthens muscles and keeps your metabolism going strong, making your post-gym meal the most important you eat all day.

As if we needed more reasons to eat! Click through below to see the best nutritionist-recommended foods to eat before and after your workouts.

Before: Whole-wheat toast with sliced fruit

Experts say the key to carbs is mixing complex and simple ones so that you release energy slow and steady during your workout. Whole-wheat toast with sliced fruit gives you both types of carbs.

Before: Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt contains double the amount of protein of regular yogurt, and it’s a great source of good carbs. Mix in some berries and sliced almonds for added nutrients.

Before: Banana with almond butter

The potassium in bananas and the almond butter supplies you with the protein boost you need to power through.

Before: Apple and mixed nuts

Healthy carbs and proteins are the key to this super simple snack—grab it and go on your way to the gym so you have no excuses not to fuel up.a

Before: Oatmeal with fruit

Like your mom used to tell you, oatmeal sticks with you, which is especially helpful during a workout. Add a small dollop of almond butter for a protein boost.

After: Whole grain wraps

Loaded with wholesome carbs and protein, a wholegrain wrap filled with lean turkey, spinach, avocado and hummus will give your body everything it needs to recover.

After: Protein smoothie

Combine half a banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk and mixed frozen fruit (optional) for a quick and easy on-the-go meal.

After: Grilled chicken and sautéed veggies

Lean protein like grilled chicken is a solid go-to for post-workout nutrients, and adding a mix of colorful veggies sautéed in coconut oil gives you a dose of carbs and healthy fats.

After: Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, and when mixed with berries, pecans and a little agave, it turns into a better-for-you version of oatmeal.

After: Egg-white omelet

We all know the power of eggs when it comes to protein; add a punch to your next omelet by including tons of sautéed veggies and slices of avocado to give your body vitamins, antioxidants and healthy monosaturated fats.