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6 of the Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout

It may be tempting to skip out on eating before a workout, but the body requires adequate fuel in its tank in order to achieve maximum performance. If blood sugar levels are insufficient while exercising, headaches and fatigue will often occur.

Not just any snack will do, though. According to WebMD, the body requires carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats in order to sustain energy levels during a workout, so it’s important to nosh on foods that contain some, or all, of these nutrients—like these six.

1. Whole Grains

Whole grains are a healthy source of complex carbohydrates, which help to keep the body fueled over an extended period of time. This makes them an excellent snack before physical activity, regardless of whether they’re consumed as bread, cereal, pasta or brown rice.

If planning to workout within the next two to three hours, AuthorityNutrition.com suggests having a sandwich on whole wheat bread or a bowl of whole grain cereal with low-fat milk. Or try Shape magazine’s recommendation: ½ cup each of brown rice and black beans.

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