You’ve heard it before – your body is like a car running on fuel. If you lose fuel, you lose your ability to function (at least properly). The same logic applies to when you’re working out.

Exercise is one of the ways you can remain healthy. It has a number of benefits both in the long and short terms. To maximise your exercises, make sure that you are filled with enough fuel to keep you going.

Without enough food in your body, you are unable to keep up or even breathe properly. Your performance might even dip. Here’s a guide on what types of food you should consume before, during, and after exercise.

Before Working Out

Before heading to a workout, make sure that your tank is full. No, this doesn’t mean that you have to be stuffed with food before you exercise. If you do that, you’ll end up vomiting all the food you just ate.

By fueling up, this means consuming food at least 2 hours before you exercise. This timeframe ensures that you have food in your body, but it was digested enough not to make you heavy when you move around.

Load up on water and healthy carbohydrates. Healthy carbs include whole-grain cereals, brown, red, or black rice, yogurt, and fruits and vegetables.

If you find yourself feeling hungry right before your workout, you can munch on a small number of peanuts. It helps to drink water too to fill you up.

During A Workout

If you are working out for only 45 mins to an hour, then you don’t need to eat during your exercise routine.

However, if your workout (usually this is applicable to athletes) extends to a few hours, then you definitely need to refill healthy carbs every half an hour. Make sure that you also drink water during workout breaks.

Nutritionists suggest that you should only consume 50-100 calories in-between workouts. If you go beyond this calorie count, then expect a heavier stomach or more sluggish movements during the exercises.

After Working Out

This is the cooldown stage where you don’t exactly move a lot, but your body is still burning more calories even after one hour from your exercise. This the time to refuel and to stock up on the lost carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are one of the must-eats after any workout. They help give you the energy you need to recover after high-intensity moves. Other than carbs, you should also load up on protein.

Protein is known for helping muscle repair, so it makes sense to add them to your post-workout meal. And of course, you have to drink lots and lots of water too.

What you eat before, during, and after a workout greatly reflects how you perform and how your body will react to all those exercises.

Heavier meals tend to make you sluggish and lazy during the moves while lighter meals give you the temporary energy to get through your workouts.

To know more about nutrition and what you should and should not eat, you can contact a nutritionist in your area.