Before: For a morning jog of no longer than 30 or 45 minutes at a relaxed pace (you can hold a conversation), a glass of water might be all that’s needed ahead of time—provided you had a decent dinner the night before. But if last night’s meal wasn’t filling or if you ate it early, downing some orange juice or a banana will replace glycogen stores in your muscles to stave off sluggishness. If you’re heading out in the afternoon, have a snack with about 50 grams of carbs in it—like yogurt and a granola bar—an hour or two beforehand, suggests Monique Ryan, R.D., author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.
After: There’s no need to take in calories immediately, but try to eat a snack or your next meal within an hour or two. Skipping a solid post-run meal could lead to lethargy or sugar cravings later in the day—or down the road, even sickness or injury.