Did you know that what and when you eat could affect the way you feel when you exercise? Well, it can. Here are five easy ways you can maximize your workout just by understanding the connection food and drinks have to your routine. 

 

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

No matter what time you fit in your daily exercise, a healthy breakfast gets you off to a good start. If you exercise in the morning, try to eat breakfast an hour before your workout. If you don’t have an hour to spare before you plan on breaking a sweat, then eat a lighter breakfast.

 

Portion Size Matters

Eating too much before you exercise can leave you feeling sluggish, but not eating enough can leave you feeling fatigued throughout your workout. Go by this rule of thumb and you’ll be good to go: Eat big meals at least three to four hours before exercising, and eat small meals or snacks about one to three hours before exercising.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Snack

Snacks eaten right before exercise probably won't give you added energy if your workout lasts less than 60 minutes, but they may prevent your tummy from rumbling during mid-workout. They can take your hunger away, so you can get through your whole routine.

 

Eat After Your Workouts

To help your muscles recover, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your exercise session. Some great post-workout foods include yogurt, fruit, peanut butter sandwich and low-fat chocolate milk with pretzels.

 

Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to drink up—you need fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration. Water should be your go-to for replacing lost fluids, but if you're exercising for more than 60 minutes, try a sports drink. Sports drinks can help maintain your body's electrolyte balance, and keep you feeling strong the whole time you’re working out.