Fueling Your Body For Exercise

Your body is your vehicle so you have to keep your engine which is your heart, running when you work out.

It is very important to correctly refuel our bodies before, during and after working out. Eating the right amount of the right foods is a crucial factor in getting the best results.

Before exercise

Fueling your body before exercise helps to prevent low blood sugar, hunger pangs and to provide enough fuel for your muscles.

Foods should be eaten one or two hours before exercise. Carbohydrates will provide quick energy and protein provides sustained energy that is needed for a longer workout. Fatty foods should be avoided as they can slow down digestion. Eating too much fiber also before your workout may lead to abdominal discomfort.

Longer periods of exercise might require a larger meal. A larger meal should be eaten three to four hours before exercise to allow time for digestion.

During exercise

If you plan to work out for more than 60-90 minutes, you will need some carbohydrates during your workout. Ingestion of 100-300 calories of carbohydrates every hour can increase your stamina and improve performance. Carbohydrates can be consumed in solid or liquid forms. Diluted juice (half juice, half water), fruits, low fat crackers etc can be ingested.

Always carry a water bottle when you train to replace losses. During activity, the general rule is to drink four to eight ounces of fluids every 15 minutes. The exact amount needed depends on your body weight, how much you perspire and the type of exercise.

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After exercise

After exercise, your body needs to replace glycogen (stored carbohydrates) in the muscles. Glycogen provides energy for subsequent activities. You need to eat a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. This meal should consist of majority food groups and adequate carbohydrates. Adequate hydration should be maintained as well.

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