January 28, 2014

Exercise Nutrition Tips!

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Hello readers!

A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me about foods to eat after a workout. I love it when I get questions! It allows me to share them with other people who probably have the same doubts.

To be honest, the tips I’m about to give will give you the “ideal” situation for best exercise performance and recovery, but it is ok to not follow this 100% to the letter. Be as healthy as you can, but don’t go crazy! It’s better to follow 70% of the tips and keep doing them for a long time than to follow them 100% and end up sick of them by the second week.

So here it goes!

Pre-workout:
-Eating before exercise increases performance when compared to fasting. If you exercise regularly and you’re not an athlete, there’s no need to play with your body by fasting.
-Eat 90 minutes before the workout. This will prevent stomach discomfort during the exercise and still provide you with the energy you need.
-It’s important to have a snack/meal that is:
   *High in complex carbohydrates: whole-grain breads, starchy vegetables, legumes, etc.
   *Moderate in protein: chicken, seafood, legumes, eggs, nuts, tofu, etc.
   *Low in fat and fiber: oils such as olive, canola or soybean, low fat margarine, 0-1% yogurt, etc.
-Drink 2 glasses of water
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During your workout:

-Drink water! For every 10-20 minutes of exercise, drink 1 cup of water to prevent dehydration and muscle fatigue.
-Are sport drinks necessary?
   *Not for the average person working for 30-45 minutes
   *Necessary for athletes or for people training more 60 minutes of strenuous exercise
Picture from here

Post-workout:
-It’s ideal to re-fuel yourself 30 to 60 minutes after the workout. The purpose of this is to reduce recovery time between sessions and improve the quality of training during subsequent sessions.
 -Recover your glucose loss: ideally, the recovery window for glycogen is 15-30 minute post-exercise
-Re-feed your muscles: there’s a 60 minute window for optimal protein recovery. The amino acids in proteins will repair and promote anabolism in your muscles
-Hydrate again! Drink at least 1 glass of water
-The recommended carbohydrate to protein ratio for optimal recovery is 4:1.
-Here are some examples of things you can eat after a workout:
   *1 glass of skim or 1% milk (chocolate milk is good for added flavor)
   *Smoothie with milk, fruits and nuts
   *0-1% yogurt with fruits and nuts

Now go! Be healthy, active and have fun :)

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