The best thing to eat before and after you exercise, according to the scientist behind the viral 7-minute workout

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  • Chris Jordan, the exercise physiologist who designed the viral 7-minute workout, told us what snacks to eat and avoid to help power you through your next workout.
  • Eating too much or too close to your workout can weigh you down, but abstaining from food can leave you tired and burned out before you even hit the treadmill.
  • Jordan’s advice doesn’t require any fancy powders or mixes – the snacks he recommends are all cheap and simple.

Getting ready to work out is often the hardest part of exercising. You need a plan, a place to do it, the right kind of clothes, good shoes, and enough energy.

Caffeine can help you feel more energetic – but so can certain foods.

Chris Jordan is the exercise physiologist who came up with the 7-minute workout routine designed to give you the benefits of a sweaty bike ride and a trip to the gym in just a few minutes. He says it’s important to fuel your body properly before working out.

“I always remind my clients that exercise is an energy-requiring activity and you get energy from your food,” Jordan told Business Insider.

That said, eating too close to a workout or indulging in the wrong kinds of foods can lead to burnout or gastrointestinal distress. To avoid those unpleasant side-effects, Jordan recommends two kinds of snacks which should be eaten within roughly one to two hours before and after a workout.

chocolate milk

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Flickr/USDAgov

The first should contain carbohydrates, which are the quickest and easiest source of energy for the body.

“That could be a small nutrition bar or a piece of toast with peanut butter,” Jordan said. “You’re trying to go into the workout with a full dose of energy.”

The second snack can be somewhat similar to the first, but Jordan recommends ensuring that it also contains a hefty amount of protein to help repair and rebuild the muscles you use during the workout. Jordan’s favorite after a sweaty trip to the gym? A glass of low-fat chocolate milk.

“It tastes good and it requires no effort. It’s not a fancy snack or supplement. It’s simple, cheap, and effective,” he said. “Sometimes the simplest thing really is the best.”