One mistake many weight trainers make is to "carb up" before a workout. Perhaps you've read how runners and triathletes use carbohydrates as fuel, especially before a big event, so you figure it'll help to cram down a low-fat granola bar or some cereal before heading to the gym. That would be a big mistake.
"Weightlifting is not an endurance sport, so high-carbohydrate foods and beverages prior to training are of little benefit," says Aaron Shelley, M.S.S., director of sports performance nutrition at Texas Tech University and head strength-and-conditioning coach for the Red Raiders' basketball team. Instead, Shelly recommends pretraining snacks that are loaded with protein and healthy, unsaturated fats.
"Ideally, the amino acids from a preworkout meal that's high in protein will be hitting the muscle cells at the conclusion of your workout, thus providing ample resources for muscle growth and repair," he says. "You'll also feel stronger in the gym, since protein and fat remain in your stomach longer."