Fueling an Active Lifestyle

Fueling an Active Lifestyle

Should you eat before you exercise? If so, what should you eat? When? Carbs? Protein? What about afterwards? Help!

The food that you eat can make or break your energy during workouts and recovery afterwards. This is why it’s so important to know how to fuel your body properly if exercise is a regular part of your lifestyle. We all want to exercise and see progress and results, but if we only focus on the workout itself, we miss a big part of the equation. In general, The Healthy Eating Plate and our carb, protein, veggie meal planning tips will provide most of us all that our bodies need, but for more specific fitness goals, we’ve got you covered.

An article from EatRight.org shares this:

Here are some suggestions for pre-workout fuel:

  • A peanut butter and banana or PBJ sandwich
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Oatmeal with low-fat milk and fruit
  • Apple and peanut or almond butter
  • Handful of nuts and raisins (two parts raisins: one part nuts)

Post-workout meals include:

  • Post-workout recovery smoothie (or post-workout smoothie made with low-fat milk and fruit)
  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Turkey on a whole-grain wrap with veggies
  • Low-fat yogurt with berries

The above offer mainly carbs, some protein and are convenient — with the first two liquid options also helping to rehydrate the body.

For more information, the articles below provide an overview and tips for pre and post workout nutrition:

Looking for even more information? Browse articles online, but also pay special attention to authors with the CSSD (certified specialist in sports dietetics) credential. These folks specialize in nutrition for exercise and are often hired by collegiate and professional sports teams to ensure that athletes’ nutrition needs are dialed for optimal performance.

The best way to determine if your nutrition needs are being met is to keep a food log. MyFitnessPal is a free and easy tool to keep a food diary and even gather nutrition data to show you how you’re doing. Are you intentional about your nutrition for exercise? What do you eat before and after boot camp?


By Victoria Emmitt RD

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