Before exercising: Banana with a cup of coffee or tea
The truth is, if you're exercising moderately for less than an hour, you really don't need to "fuel up" with extra food for the workout — especially if you're exercising in an effort to lose weight. But if you feel more energized when you've eaten beforehand, I suggest having something small, like a piece of fruit. A banana makes the perfect pre-workout snack because it's easy to digest and provides a good amount of potassium, an electrolyte that gets depleted when you sweat during physical exertion. (Plus, the banana doesn't need to be refrigerated, so you can stash it in your gym bag for later in the day.) Give your workout an extra boost by having caffeinated coffee or tea before you hit the gym. Caffeine essentially allows you to push yourself harder for longer while you're exercising and decreases perceived muscle pain during the workout. Drink one cup of coffee (or 2 cups of tea) at least a half hour before your workout to allow the caffeine time to absorb and work its magic.