• By Jeff Olsen

Mayo Clinic Minute: Foods to fuel your workout

July 19, 2017

Food is your body’s fuel, so it’s important to eat before exercise. Choosing the right nutrients at the right time can make your effort more effective.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.

You’ve got the footwear. But, do you have the fuel for your workout?

"Carbohydrate is the source of that energy your muscles need," says Angie Murad, a wellness dietitian at Mayo Clinic's Healthy Living Program.

Murad says, if possible, eat a balanced meal a few hours before pumping iron or hitting the trail. Avoid fats, limit fiber and include a variety of natural carbs from grains, fruits and milk.

"For breakfast, you could have oatmeal with a little brown sugar and some raisins," explains Murad. "A glass of milk with it and some berries.”

And if you’ve got less than an hour until your workout, focus solely on the carbs.

"That’s the primary energy source," adds Murad.

She suggests a sports drink, a serving of your favorite fruit or even a small jam sandwich. And sports gels and gummies can also give a quick carb boost.

"I would recommend focusing more on foods first," says Murad. "But, if you’re in a pinch, and you need something easy, they are options."

They're options for fuel to go along with the footwear.

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