You should fuel your body with a snack or a meal one or two hours before working out. “Eating before a run is as important as it is to have fuel in your gas tank before a long drive,” says Lewin, recommending a snack that’s high in complex carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, beans, peas or potatoes. “Complex carbs are better before a run because they break down more slowly and provide a more constant source of energy.
Nuts and seeds are also a great source of energy — and heart-healthy fats. “Unsalted roasted almonds are my go-to snack,” says another TIME colleague Liz Grover of TIME’s imaging desk, who is currently training for a half-marathon in October. “If I know I’m running the next morning, I try to stay away from heavily fried foods and too much alcohol.”
Here are some highly nutritious and crunchy favorites to consider:
- Walnuts are high in omega 3s, which are good for the brain and heart
- Cashews are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats as well as minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium
- Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are good for prostate health and preventing inflammation
- Sunflower seeds are high in thiamin and help keep your muscles and cardiovascular and nervous systems healthy