When it comes to working out, it's super important to properly feed your body. Knowing what to put into your body before and after a workout will affect how your body handles said workout. Without the proper nutrition, your body may fail to complete your full workout, or worse, you might wake up sore the next morning and struggle to walk to your refrigerator to get the "oh so deserved" piece of chocolate cake.

Before your workout:

1. Protein Shake 

This is probably most people's go-to gym snack. If your running late, stick with a smoothie/protein shake. Use your favorite fruit, a cup of Greek yogurt and some granola for a thicker consistency and your good to go.

An important tip to remember: If you're picking up a pre-made shake, make sure that the label says it's made from whey or milk-based proteins. Smoothies and protein shakes are a nutrient-filled snack, but can also be a meal supplement. They provide everything you need—protein, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and calcium.

2. Oatmeal with fresh fruit

Oatmeal is the workout buddy that never bails on you- it sticks with you throughout your workout by slowly releasing sugar into your bloodstream which keeps your energy at a high level. By adding fresh fruit to your bowl, you will help increase the fluid content of your pre-workout snack, keeping you hydrated.

3. Whole Wheat Toast with almond/peanut butter with banana

Carbs are the way to go before (and even after) a workout. As your workout BFF, carbs such as whole wheat toast will release energy during your workout at a slow and steady rate throughout the duration of your routine. Whole wheat toast with fruit gives you both types of carbs with the bonus of being super easy to digest.

Carbs will keep you thriving, while the fruit adds an extra kick of energy. For those training for a race or a serious workout, bananas are perfect in raising potassium levels, which drop when you sweat a lot (keeping you from cramping up).

#SpoonTip: Add some cinnamon to your snack- this spice has been linked to stabilizing blood sugar and improving brain function. 

After your workout:

1. Salmon with grilled vegetables and potato 

Aside from the typical protein perks, salmon has bioactive peptides (small protein molecules) that play a role in inflammation reduction, helping to regulate insulin levels and give you joint support. Sweet potatoes pack in those complex carbs as well as help to restore glycogen levels, which get depleted after a workout. 

2. Whole wheat sandwich with hummus and vegetables

If you're a mid-day exerciser, this is the sandwich for you: hit the gym and then grab a sandwich. Getting a spread like tuna or hummus are your new pals; tuna is low in calories, but high in protein and carbs, while hummus is high in fiber. And last but certainly not least, spinach is a produce powerhouse, handling everything from curbing your appetite to boosting your complexion and lowering blood pressure and inflammation. 

3. Whole wheat pasta with grilled chicken

Pasta is very low in sodium and cholesterol-free.  Whole wheat pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion. A serving of dry pasta supplies the equivalent of roughly 100 micrograms of folic acid, or 25% of the recommended daily intake. Pasta has a low Glycemic Index (GI) so it does not cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly- energy levels remain constant. The lean protein and carbohydrates in chicken will fill you up without feeling overly bloated. Add some veggies in olive oil to meet your daily veggie requirement. 

If these before and after workout eats don't motivate you to get moving, hopefully the pizza in the refrigerator does!!