Jul 20, 2011

What To Eat When You Workout

This month has been a busy one. We're making plans to move, change jobs and accomplish all the business that goes along with that. Even though our schedule has been hectic, I try to make time to exercise at least 5 days each week because it helps clear my head. I also feel like it helps me deal with stress better, which is beneficial for me AND my family!

To workout well, it's important to eat well. I like to have a light snack before and after exercise to keep my energy levels up and help muscles recover. If you're the type of person who likes to workout early in the morning (and I am not), try to eat before exercising even though you may not feel like eating.
Since our body primarily uses carbohydrates to fuel exercise, aim to eat a snack that is high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat.

This month, I did a 10k with a few friends and - much to my surprise - ran my best time yet. I credit training and a good pre-run snack of 1 banana, 1 cup of low-fat milk (which came in my tall latte) and a little caffeine about an hour before the run. It was a healthy, high-carb snack that didn't fill me up too much but gave me enough energy to cross the finish line strong.......and manage to win a nice prize! In fact, all of us did. See our happy faces?

Here are a few of my favorite go-to snacks that are perfect before a work out: 
  1. Banana and 1 cup of low-fat or fat-free milk
  2. 1 cup of low-fat yogurt with 1/4 cup granola
  3. 1 slice 100% whole wheat toast and 1 tsp peanut butter
  4. 1 medium apple and 1 oz reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
After a workout - and especially after resistance training - it's helpful to include a bit more protein to help muscles recover. Here are some some examples:
  1. 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup diced pineapple on top
  2. 1 cup chocolate milk and a handful of pretzels
  3. 1 hard boiled egg and a handful of crackers
For more information about what to eat to fuel exercise, click here.

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