It's never fun to run out of fuel during a work out, feel sluggish or nauseous, or just plain not feel optimized during a training session. The Mayo Clinic offers 5 tips to maximizing your workouts as they relate to what you eat and when.
Eating and exercise go hand in hand. When and what you eat can be important to how you feel when you exercise, whether it's a casual workout or training for a competition. Consider these eating and exercise tips.
If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to finish breakfast at least one hour before your workout. Be well fueled going into a workout. Studies suggest that eating or drinking carbohydrates before exercise can improve workout performance and may allow you to work out for a longer time or at a higher intensity. If you don't eat, you might feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise.
Good breakfast options include:
And remember, if you normally have coffee in the mornings, a cup before your workout is probably OK. Also know that anytime you try a food or drink for the first time before a workout, you risk an upset stomach.
Most people can eat small snacks right before and during exercise. The key is how you feel. Do what works best for you. Snacks eaten soon before exercise probably won't give you added energy if your workout lasts less than 60 minutes, but they may prevent distracting hunger pangs. If your workout is longer than 60 minutes, you may benefit by including a carbohydrate-rich food or beverage during the workout. Good snack options include:
A healthy snack is especially important if you plan a workout several hours after a meal.
To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your exercise session if possible. Good post-workout food choices include:
Don't forget to drink fluids. You need adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration.
To stay well hydrated for exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you:
Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. But if you're exercising for more than 60 minutes, use a sports drink. Sports drinks can help maintain your body's electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy because they contain carbohydrates.
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