This piece originally appeared on PureWow.com.
If we're going to go to the trouble of working out, we don't want to sabotage our hard work by fueling up with the wrong food. So we asked Larry Twohig, a certified personal trainer and co-founder of Culture Fitness in NYC, for tips on what to eat before and after we work up a sweat. Here are the takeaways
Eat according to your goals Some people want to lose fat and others want to build muscle. Vary your food intake based on which result you're looking for.
Eat carbs to trim down As backwards as it sounds, if you're looking for fat loss, add simple carbohydrates and high-quality protein (like grass-fed whey) to your after-workout meal. Might we suggest drinking it?
Don't fear fat According to Twohig, the biggest myth about diet and exercise is that eating fat makes you fat. He recommends that 30 to 40 percent of calories come from fat, but primarily the good ones found in almond butter, avocado and flaxseed oil. Foods like these support immune response, metabolism, brain function and overall health and wellness.
But time it right Fats should without a doubt be a part of your diet, but they should probably be avoided right after a workout, since the body is ready to soak up whatever nutrients it's fed.
Be smart with carbs To boost performance, carb-load with lower glycemic-index carbohydrates like sweet potatoes (in addition to fat, protein and fiber). Twohig says that carb-loading with a giant bowl of pasta is unnecessary and will do nothing to further your goals.