Confused about what and when to eat fits into your regular exercise plan? Here are the basis of fueling your workout.
Research has shown that eating something before exercise is better than nothing at all
• It will enhance stamina and endurance
• It will provide carbs to refuel your muscles, liver glycogen stores, and blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the key to giving you the energy to work out hard.
• It will provide protein (in the form of amino acids) to protect your muscles.
•Carbohydrates will replenish your glycogen stores (i.e. “refill your gas tank”).
•Protein will repair damaged muscle fibers and may also reduce muscle soreness.
• Calories, in general, will reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, which can break down muscle.
WHEN TO EAT
The amount of food one can tolerate in their stomach before exercise varies from person to person. This may take some experimentation on your part. However, it’s best to have a meal 2-4 hours before your workout and/or a snack 30 minutes to an hour before your workout.
Eat protein with some carbohydrates within 45 minutes of completing your exercise.
WHAT TO EAT
Meal (2-4 hours before)
- 4 oz turkey breast
1-2 cups non starchy vegetables
1/2 to 1 cup brown rice or quinoa
- 20/20 Lifestyles High Protein Shake with 1/2 cup berries and 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup egg whites (about 6 egg whites)
1 oz low fat shredded cheese
1 slice whole grain toast
1/2 cup of berries
- 1 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
1 medium-sized banana, sliced
1 oz walnuts
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Snack (up to 1 hour before)
- 1 cup cottage cheese and 1 Cascade Fresh yogurt
- 1 slice whole grain toast with 1 oz low fat cheese
- 1/2 to 1 serving 20/20 Lifestyles Protein Bar
- 1 apple and 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 20/20 Lifestyles High Protein Shake or Protein Bar (this will provide balance for both protein and carbs)
- 1 or 2 sting cheese sticks
- 2 hard-boiled egg whites
- 1 oz sliced deli turkey
- 1/2-1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- Nonfat flavored Greek style yogurt
- 1 small apple
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 1/3 whole grain granola bar
- 1 slice whole grain bread
- 1/2 cup pineapple or sliced peaches
The ideal ratio is to have at least 7 grams of protein for every 15 grams of carbohydrates. Even better would be 1:1 gram ration with protein to carbs.
Originally from PRO Pulse May-June 2011
By Monica Jacobson