Our body needs fuel, this we all know. But knowing when and how to provide ourselves with the proper fuel is a little bit more complex. Well, a lot of this boils down to one thing; nutrient timing. Let's break this down by macronutrient:
CARBS: Complex carbohydrates, such as beans and fiber rich fruits and veggies take longer to break down and are generally most beneficial when consumed 2-4 hours before your workout. Simple carbohydrates on the other hand, such as sports drinks and white bread/rice are broken down by the body quicker and provide a speedier source of energy. A general rule of thumb is, the closer you are to your workout, the simpler the carb you should be eating!
PROTIEN: We all know that need protein but it can be easy to fall behind on our consumption of this macronutrient. According to the National Association of Sports Medicine, studies have shown that getting in protein every 3-4 hours can be very beneficial. However, since it takes longer for our bodies to break it down, utilizing it in a more processed form such as whey proteins, can be a better choice about 30 minutes before a workout.
FATS: Fats are so important! But before a workout, it's important to remember that this macronutrient takes the longest to be broken down and can even slow down the digestion of other foods. Because of this, try to include fats into a meal 2-4 hours before exercising. If you find yourself within that window, stick with carbs for fast energy.
Always keep in mind that in order for your body to perform at it's best, you need to give it everything it needs. Wellness is an all encompassing concept that looks different on everybody.