Eat Right for Exercise

Thinking of getting in shape? Starting a walking program? Running your first 5k?

Even if you’re not in a sport that has a finish line, eating right means you are able to delay fatigue; it can allow you to push harder and recover faster. It can give you the edge you need to set a personal record. Without the proper calories, nutrients and fluid, your efforts could be unsuccessful.

Before Exercise

Eat a larger meal 3-4 hours before exercise. Closer to the activity, have a small snack such as fruit. This will give you the last-minute bump your body needs. Make sure you are adequately hydrated.

During Exercise

Consume fluids early and consistently to replace sweat losses. Water is an adequate fluid choice for many activities. Sports drinks are more appropriate than water for athletes engaged in moderate- to high-intensity exercise that lasts an hour or longer.

After Exercise

Begin nutrition recovery with a snack or meal within 15-60 minutes following activity. Replace muscle fuel (carbohydrate) and provide protein to repair muscle tissue and stimulate development of new tissue.

Recovery Snack Ideas

Smoothie with yogurt and frozen berries. Graham crackers with peanut butter and low-fat chocolate milk and banana. Pita sandwich with turkey/veggies + low-fat milk.

Get the most out of your workouts. Whether you are a pro-athlete, fun-run enthusiast or someone who works out at the gym most days of the week, what you eat matters. Eat right for optimal performance.

Claudia Ulintz, RDLD

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