In the health and wellness community, it isn’t uncommon to hear, “I like to exercise because I love to eat.” Know anyone who can relate? Although balanced nutrition should always be top of mind throughout daily life (and your love for eating nutritious foods), dietary needs change around exercise. What to consume before, during and after a workout is pretty consistent amongst dietitians, physical trainers and other experts alike. Forget the locker room debates, here are the guidelines:

Pre: What to Eat Before a Workout

Pre-workout food - whether it’s eating a snack like an Orgain Organic Simple Protein Bar or a meal - is vital for optimal exercise performance, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Fueling the body before activity will help replenish liver glycogen and will steady blood sugar levels.

Consuming a snack or meal high in complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains, fat-free yogurt, brown rice or fruits and vegetables) with a moderate serving of protein is ideal. Protein provides much needed amino acids for muscle rebuilding and repair. Exercisers should avoid foods high in saturated fat and fiber and eat at least 90 to 120 minutes before to avoid an upset stomach, says Laura Felton, M.B.A., R.D.

The best pre-workout meal has a perfect proportion. According to Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., the rule of thumb is:

Time, Pre Exercise Grams of Carbs, Per lb Calories, Per lb
5 to 60 mins 0.5 g/lb 300 cal
2 hours 1.0 g/lb 600 cal
4 hours 2.0 g/lb 1,200 cal

Mid: What to Drink During a Workout

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete, regular gym goer or take part in moderate routines like walking, hydration during activity is key. Experts recommend drinking 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes throughout a training session.

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Post: What to Eat After a Workout

The hardest part is over, so what’s next? Recover and refuel! But working out isn’t a license to abandon portion sizes and healthy guidelines, no matter the ‘hangry’ level.

Besides continuing hydration, the best post-workout meal and recovery aid should be a hearty blend of carbs and protein. Our Orgain Organic Protein Plant Based Protein Powder or Orgain Clean Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder are great places to start. Experts recommend eating or drinking a protein shake 20-60 minutes after training.

  •  Stay motivated with a mix of healthy, tasty recipes. Check out our suggestions!

Staying on track with these expert tips will ensure a fueled and powered workout and help maintain your healthy, active lifestyle!