When optimizing your body to get that lean or muscle-bound look you want, don’t merely focus on your workout. Yes, you should constantly be switching up your exercises, reps, and muscle group focus, but if you don’t provide your body with the raw materials for success you can’t expect a glimmering six-pack, even with your daily crunches. Ingesting the right kinds of proteins, carbohydrates, and mineral-infused foods before and after a workout is vital to any exercise regimen.

Not a nutritional scientist? Not a problem. Follow these guidelines for optimal results.

Before a workout, carbohydrates are a necessity. The trick is to eat both simple and complex carbohydrates to maximize your supply of energy during the course of your workout. We recommend whole-wheat toast covered in sliced bananas. Both types of carbohydrates are present, and this pre-workout snack is easy on your digestive tract. The bananas keep your potassium level up (no one is looking to faint at the gym, after all).

If you’re going for a long-distance run or are sticking to the treadmill, down some Greek yogurt with a hearty helping of trail mix. Your mix should forgo the chocolates and add-ons – stick with nuts and dried fruits. They’ll boost your energy level without allowing your insulin to drop during your run.

For added clarity and an edge of focus, take some healthy energy pills like those offered from UPTIME about 30 minutes before your workout. Stick with natural energy pills that forgo unnecessary sugary compounds for best results.

In the middle of your workout you may feel a drop in energy if you haven’t eaten in over an hour or if you are increasing your sets or reps. Don’t let the strain go to your head – simply drink half of a sugar free energy drink to increase stamina and power. You only need to drink about 6 ounces of an UPTIME sugar free energy drink to get results. For those wanting the sugar during a workout, we suggest the original formula.

For a post-workout meal, go with lean meats and vitamin-rich sides, as your body will be depleted of nutrients. This is the recharge phase, so pay extra care to eat properly once you get home from the gym. Grilled chicken and some mixed vegetables drizzled in olive oil will get the job done nicely.

Another post-workout small meal option is salmon and sweet potatoes; the protein is lean and the complex carbohydrates in the sweet potatoes keep you charging forward throughout the day. With these pre and post-workout options you can help your body rebuild and recharge in an active manner.