Eddie Jackson's Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks

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Find out which healthy snacks chef, trainer and former NFL player Eddie Jackson recommends eating before and after a workout.

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Healthy, Snack

You may know Eddie Jackson as a private chef, former NFL player, food truck owner and winner of FoodNetwork Star. But did you know he's a personal trainer too? (When does this guy sleep?) For "Fit Chef Eddie," exercise isn't a chore; it's a lifetime commitment that continues far beyond the football field. Here, the Texas trainer shares his top do's and don'ts for staying fit for life.

Why is proper nutrition before and after a workout so important
Eddie Jackson: Think of your body like a car. You know it's not good for your car to run on an empty tank, right? It's not good for your body, either. That's why it's important to feed your body before exercise: to give it the fuel it needs to run well. And after working out, the right foods then help your body to replenish and repair. And don't forget to stay hydrated before, during and after a workout too. Replacing the fluids your body loses through sweat is key.

So what do you recommend eating before hitting the gym?
EJ: Good carbs will give you the energy you need to power through your workout without feeling fatigued. I like to eat oatmeal, peanut butter, whole-wheat energy bars or savory granola before I head out to the gym.

How about after working out?
EJ: Feeding your body protein after a workout is essential. That's because protein helps repair and build muscle after strenuous activity. I recommend eating fish, chicken or lean beef, steamed veggies or a protein shake to help your muscles recover.

When do you recommend eating in relation to a workout?
EJ: You want to eat 30 to 45 minutes before and after working out.

For more tips, read Eddie Jackson's Fitness Do's and Don'ts.