(NewsUSA) - As the weather continues to heat up, many of us are looking to slim down and get the most out of our workouts. But choosing the best exercises is only one part of the fitness equation. To maximize results, try these nutritious and energizing pre- and post-workout fixes to fuel your body and keep you going.
Before a Workout Eat?
1. Overnight Oats. Oatmeal is filled with fiber, so it'll gradually release carbs into your bloodstream and help you maintain a steady stream of energy throughout your workout. To make overnight oats, just mix 1/2 cup rolled oats with 1 cup of your favorite milk and let them soak in the fridge overnight. Then top with your favorite nuts, fruits or yogurt, and enjoy!
2. Raisins. A new study shows that raisins work just as well as sports gels as a natural way to fuel your muscles. Aim for 2 tablespoons -- or about 30 to 40 raisins.
3. Pomegranate Juice. A recent study found that healthy compounds in pomegranate juice, called polyphenols, may help decrease muscle soreness.
After a Workout Eat...
1. Tuna. To get the protein your body needs to repair muscles after a vigorous sweat session, try StarKist Tuna Creations. The pouches come in a variety of flavors, like Sweet & Spicy and Ranch, and all are 110 calories or less. Each provides 12-16 grams of protein and is a natural source of omega-3s fats, which may decrease the amount of fat your body stores, and have been linked to decreased muscle soreness.
2. Latte. Believe it or not, this coffee shop treat is a refreshing option after exercise. Milk is the secret ingredient, since it has both the protein and carbohydrates your body craves post-workout.
3. Green Smoothie. A new study found that a healthy compound in leafy green vegetables helps muscles work more efficiently. In a blender, puree 1 cup of leafy greens, 8 ounces of low-fat milk and 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened berries.
Last, but certainly not least, drinking plenty of water is vital. If you're not fully hydrated, you'll get tired faster and increase your risk of injury. Aim to drink about 8 to 16 ounces during a 30-minute workout.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D. is a Registered Dietitian.