What You Should Eat Before a Workout

Yes! An excuse to drink chocolate milk!Yes! An excuse to drink chocolate milk!Experts say what you eat before a workout can have a major impact on how easy (or freaking hard) your gym sesh ends up being. Nosh on these power-boosting snacks an hour or two before you break a sweat to max out your workout.

By Korin Miller

A Pear and Pistachios
Pears are high in fiber, which slows down your digestion and makes you feel fuller longer (so no mid-workout hunger pangs). Pistachios are also high-fiber and help keep your blood sugar regulated-nosh on 1/2 ounce, or about 24 nuts.

It seems random, but studies have shown that a little caffeine before a workout (100 milligrams or so) can give you a boost. Splash in a little skim milk for added protein and make sure you're hydrated.

Related: 8 Ways to Stay Motivated at The Gym

A Whole Wheat Pita, PB, and a Banana
This snack is a winner because it gives you a healthy balance of protein (from the peanut butter) and carbs (from the banana and pita)-leaving you with a shot of energy when you need it most. The protein from the pb also makes sure your energy level stays high throughout your workout.

Low-Fat Chocolate Milk
Yeah, it sounds weird, but research has shown that chocolate milk has the right mix of carbs, potassium, and protein to give your workout a boost.

An Apple and Hard-Boiled Egg
This snack is low-cal, high protein, and easy when you're on the go. Apple fun fact: Just one of these babies gives you as much dietary fiber as a serving of bran cereal. The egg is a great way to get filling protein, and it contains B vitamins, which help convert the food you eat into energy. Don't have an egg handy? String cheese works, too.

Related: How to Burn Fat

Munch on one of these before you hit the gym!Munch on one of these before you hit the gym!Raw Coconut Water
Tend to, uh, glow a lot at the gym? Sip on some coco water before your workout. It has carbs and potassium to keep you fueled and hydrated.

Low-Fat Cheese on Wheat Toast and an Orange
The cheese gives you protein and calcium, which helps keep your muscles and bones healthy, while the whole wheat toast is a complex carb, which helps fuel your workout. What's up with the orange? Foods that contain vitamin C help metabolize fat faster and allows your bod to burn calories easier. Win-win.

Dried Fruit
Think: a box of raisins or little package of dried apples or bananas. The natural sugar in these will morph into energy for your body. If you need something more substantial, sprinkle them over protein-packed Greek yogurt.

This grain is packed with healthy carbs and protein to keep you feeling full and fueled through your workout. Don't like the taste? Oatmeal has similar benefits.

SOURCES: Registered dietician Heather Bauer, CDN, founder of Bestowed.com; registered dietician Tanya Zuckerbrot, founder of the F-Factor Diet

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