Just getting your workout in every day can be a challenge, but optimizing that workout with the food you eat is next level! Here are some tips and tricks to make your diet work in tandem with your training. Maximizing your performance is often a simple matter of what you eat and when you eat it, after all!

Change When You Eat

When you eat should start to depend on when you work out. If you prefer working out first thing in the morning, it is often preferable to eat nothing or something small like a smoothie to prevent cramping and illness. If your workout happens later in the day, you will need to fuel your body one to four hours before. How long you go between food and your workout will determine the amount of food you will need. A small snack is best for shorter periods, and a regular meal is ideal for that three-to-four-hour window. For a post-workout meal, your goal is to rehydrate, re-energize your cells, and build muscle, so go for water, carbs, and protein soon after. Most importantly, remember to drink water when you wake up and throughout the day.

Eat a More Balanced Diet

By eating a balanced diet with all the macronutrients, you will be optimizing each workout by providing every function with its preferred fuel. Healthy carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide the energy your cells need for sustained endurance. Protein is the building block your body uses to grow muscle. And healthy fats provide sustained energy throughout your day. While carbs get a bad rap these days, getting your five a day is crucial for maintaining a healthy body. Fruits and vegetables are also great for your teeth.

Don’t Over-Generalize

It is easy to look online and find a list of what to eat and when to eat it, but no single diet plan fits all people. There are many aspects of a diet to consider regarding your specific circumstances. Are you male or female? How much do you weigh? What is your body type? What are your fitness goals? What types of exercises are you performing? You need to take all of this into consideration when you put together your diet plan.

When and what you choose to fuel your body with can play a major role in the effectiveness of your workout. Paying close attention to how you feel during training sessions can act as a personal guide as to what is working and what needs tweaking. Your diet should provide everything you need to give your workout your all, day in and day out!

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