Do you ever find yourself in a workout rut? You feel like you are killing it in the gym, you’re consistent in your workouts, but you just aren’t seeing the results you feel like you should be? You are not alone. Many people experience this and it can be frustrating, leading to workout burnout or scrapping the fitness goals altogether.

I might have the answer to your dilemma and it may be surprisingly simple.

What if I told you the missing piece to your workout regimen could be the fuel you’re giving your body? Yes, your diet!

That’s right. The reason you are not seeing the fitness results you want may have little to do with how you’re moving your body and everything to do with what you’re putting in it.

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Go Further with Food”. One way to go further with food is using it to properly fuel you for your workout!

What you eat, both before and after a workout, can make a difference in how you perform during and recover after. A pre-workout meal or snack may be necessary if your last proper meal was more than 3-4 hours ago. This snack or meal should be light and eaten about 30 minutes before your workout. The purpose of pre-workout fuel is to give you the energy to fight that sluggish, unmotivated feeling. When properly fueled, the body is able to workout harder and longer, which ultimately can lead to better results.

Post-workout fueling is different from pre-workout because the focus of the meal changes from performance to recovery, supporting your muscles, cells and fuel storage centers. Post-workout meals should be 20-60 minutes after a workout and should focus on three main nutrients: fluids, protein, and carbohydrates. The amount of each will depend on both the intensity level and duration of your workouts, but will also vary person to person.

This month in Health & Wellness magazine, dives deeper into these fueling tips by addressing types of foods to incorporate into your pre/post workout meals, foods to avoid, and proper amounts for each. Have additional questions or need advice regarding fuel for your workout? Contact a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist like myself to help you on this health and fitness journey.

Happy National Nutrition Month!