Muscle recovery is the key to getting the most bang for your body when it comes to fueling a workout. The nutrients consumed before, during, and after strenuous exercise are an important component of muscle growth and recovery, the ultimate bottom line of maintaining physique.

Carbs Before.

Contrary to popular belief, not all carbohydrates are bad. Carbohydrates with high fiber content get absorbed slowly into your system and don’t cause spikes in blood sugar. If you’re one of those people who cannot live without carbs, you’re not alone. Be mindful to consume any carb-heavy meals earlier in the day so that your body has plenty of time to use that energy before your metabolism slows down.

Electrolytes During.

As with any workout, it’s critical to stay hydrated before, during, and after exercising to avoid fatigue and dehydration. Water always wins, but it isn’t a bad idea to re-up on electrolytes when breaking a good sweat. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are always a good go-to for tasty, quick hydration.

Protein After.

Protein is the main component of muscle recovery and growth and should be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing a workout to reap the full benefits. These amino acids are quickly digested to replenish your body with the nutrients it needs to repair the muscles you just put to the test.