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What To Eat Before And After A Workout

Posted: 02/15/2012 8:51 am

By Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D. for

As a sports nutritionist I work with clients who earn a living working up a sweat. But whether you're a pro or you get your adrenaline pumping before or after your nine to five, there's a science to what you should eat before and after to maximize your workout and recover from the wear and tear it puts on your body. Here are five rules of thumb to keep in mind.

BEFORE: Keep Your Tummy Happy
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Choose pre-workout meals or snacks that are easy to digest and won't cause bloating or irritate your stomach. In other words, a spicy bean burrito isn't the best choice. If your food's not digested before or during your workout, the fuel will be trapped in your stomach and won't be available to your muscles, and providing fuel is the main goal of a pre-exercise meal. Also, undigested food can feel like a brick sitting in your stomach, leading to cramps and sluggishness.

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Flickr photo by Dan Foy

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a Shape contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.

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