Whether you're training for a marathon or hitting your regular spin class, nutrition is key. Here's how to eat like an athlete for the best results.

Before your workout

Hydrate! Drink at least 20 ounces of water prior to your routine. For extra energy, you need carbs. We know they get a rap, but carbohydrates are essential to providing your body and brain with the fuel needed for a successful workout. Try a banana, a small handful of pretzels, some raisins, or a cereal bar.

Giant brand cereal bars

During your workout

If you're exercising for an hour or less, eating during it is not important. Just make sure you have your water bottle at the gym! But for longer workouts (especially if you're training for a marathon), you need to re-fuel. Sports drinks help replace your electrolytes. If you prefer water, you can get an extra boost with squeezable apple sauce or energy chews.

Squeezable apple sauce available at Giant 
Gatorade energy chews available at Giant 

After your workout

The right meal can help your body recover after an intense routine. Make sure you're getting essential nutrients within 2 hours after exercising. If you don't feel like eating right away, a smoothie or tomato juice will work. For morning people, go with Greek yogurt and berries for the perfect combination of protein and carbohydrates. For those who work out later, chicken tacos in whole wheat tortillas with vegetables are a great option.

Post workout snacks

If you're training for a particular race or goal, it's essential to meet with a nutritionist to develop the perfect plan.

This article is sponsored by Giant. For more health tips, consult one of their board certified nutritionists.

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