Fuel Your FitnessMarch 27, 2012
We all live in a very hectic world, I know this, but we need to make sure we continue to plan ahead. I mean come on, you make sure to take time out of your day to plan meetings, phone calls, after work plans (which I am sure will include a much needed relaxation drink) and hopefully exercise. So, make sure you take time to plan your meals and snacks throughout the day, especially around your exercise regimen.
Most people do not think it is important to eat before and after exercise. I beg to differ.
So, read on my friends…
Keep in mind that eating pre- and post-exercise is very individualistic. Take note of what works best for you and your body and experiment before smaller bouts of exercise- not your next 20 miler!
Start off with consuming carbohydrates before you exercise, ideally 30-90 minutes prior. These carbohydrates will give your body the necessary energy it needs to fuel your exercise. Aim for something high in carbohydrates with minimal amounts of fat. Fat takes the longest to digest so we want quicker energy before a bout of exercise. Think granola bar, bowl of oatmeal, slice of toast, or a piece of fruit.
In order to replenish the glycogen that you burned off during exercise, make sure you are consuming carbohydrates after exercising too. As you exercise, you are also working those muscles too. To help rebuild those muscles used, add some protein to that snack or meal. Try eating a bowl of cereal (carbohydrates from the cereal and protein from the milk), toast and natural peanut butter, cottage cheese and fruit or even a large glass of chocolate milk! Try to consume something within 1-2 hours after a workout.
If you don’t like eating before or after exercising try a beverage or liquid meal to help get the nutrients you need without the bulk! Then make sure a meal or larger snack is right around the corner for you when you do feel ready to eat.
Before you exercise make sure you are drinking water to properly hydrate. You should be consuming water throughout your exercise too. Switch to an electrolyte rich beverage if you are exercising more than 90 minutes. Continue to consume water after exercise, as well as, throughout the day to ensure proper hydration. This will not only be helpful for the next bout of exercise, but to maintain proper health.