Proper nutrition is a key ingredient to performing your best. What you eat, how you eat and when you eat can make a big difference in reaching your fitness goals.

For National Physical Fitness Month this May, Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition team breaks down six commonly accepted workout “truths” to help take your nutrition to the next level.

Carbs are bad—you should really try and avoid them.

FICTION: We need carbs to give us energy and maximize our endurance. Think of them as high-octane fuel for your body. But be sure to choose the right kinds. The best sources are whole grains, cereal, fruits and vegetables.

To maintain lean body mass, the average active person needs 87-130 grams of protein per day.

FIT: Research shows that protein plus fiber and exercise can help achieve a lean and toned body by reducing body fat and maintaining lean body mass. This dynamic duo also curbs hunger, protects the immune system, maintains gut health and even aids in exercise recovery. Aim to include protein in every meal and snack throughout the day.

Eating right after a workout isn’t necessary.

FICTION: When you get the right nutrition within 30 minutes after a workout, you can improve body composition by building more lean body mass and retaining less fat. Also, you help the body recover faster from the stress and muscle breakdown that occurred during your workout. The key is to plan ahead for your snack or meal BEFORE you leave for the gym or your workout. TIP: This is where convenience pays off. Create a new habit by bringing a shaker bottle to the gym with 100% whey protein powder or packing a protein bar in your gym bag.

Eating very little will help me lose weight.

FICTION: Many people who are dieting starve themselves and over-exercise. But if you don't eat enough during the day, your body goes into starvation mode, which slows your metabolism making it even harder to lose weight. Intense exercise revs up your metabolism for up to 46 hours after your workout. This is when the greatest fat-burning effect takes place. But if you don't get enough calories for fuel, you can't exercise intensely enough to make this happen.

More than 50% of people aren’t properly hydrated when they begin their workout.

FIT: Even 2% dehydration can impact your ability to focus and leave you feeling tired. Hydrating properly can improve how you feel and perform throughout the day. TIP: When you exercise, it’s best to down 16 oz. before you work out, 4-6 oz. every 20 minutes during, then top it off with even more after you’re done.

Breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day.

FIT: Breakfast sets the tone for how you feel for the rest of your day. Your breakfast should include a high-fiber carb, lean protein, healthy fat and color. Great options include oatmeal with fruit and almonds, an egg scramble loaded with veggies and a piece of whole wheat toast, or Greek yogurt with high fiber cereal and mixed berries. TIP: Blend a smoothie with a protein powder featuring fiber, vitamins and minerals to kick-start your breakfast, fuel you post-workout recovery or increase your energy mid-afternoon.

For more training tips and information on Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition products to help fuel your workout and improve your performance, click here.