Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

The Right Fuel: 3 Eating Tips for Pre-/Post-Exercise

healthy fresh fruit for a smoothie

Like many of you, I try to incorporate active movement into my daily schedule. But as we all know, life happens. Which usually means, once or twice a week, my workout will get bumped to a different time than I originally planned. Sometimes, this is no big deal. But there are other days that then necessitate a shift in when I was planning to have breakfast or lunch—or which specific foods I was planning on eating (depending on how long I’ll be exercising for).

It can be easy for sudden changes like this to derail one’s whole routine. This is where the following three tips can really come in handy to ensure you’ll have adequate energy for fitness activities when the unexpected crops up.

  1. Avoid Skipping Breakfast: Even if you prefer to workout first thing in the morning, you’ll feel better during—and after—your workout, if you consume at least 100 calories before getting started. (A 1/2 -3/4 cup of low-fat Greek yogurt and a 1/2 cup of berries is one quick morning snack option.)
  2. Keep the Water Flowing: Remember that hydration enhances performance. This means that the inverse is also true: Being dehydrated will lessen your ability to complete, as well as enjoy, the exercise you want to do. So fill your water bottle at least one hour before the sweat session begins, drink it all, then refill so you can take water breaks as needed once you’re in motion.
  3. Have a Snack Ready: If you engage in moderate to intense activity for 30 minutes or more, be sure to eat within 45 minutes after finishing. This helps to speed up recovery time—making it less likely you’ll feel wiped out or overly hungry later in the day. (A smoothie with bananas, flax [or hemp] seeds, peanut butter and berries, or an open-faced tuna salad sandwich on a slice of whole-grain bread are both solid choices for re-fueling post-workout.)

Vitamin waters, hydration tabs and protein bars are also okay to rely on from time to time when one’s in a hurry. However, there is no long-term substitute for proper nutrition. Keep eating well to be well—and I Iook forward to hearing how you chose to replenish after the next walk, bike ride or trip to the gym.

Make it a wonderful Wednesday!

2 thoughts on “The Right Fuel: 3 Eating Tips for Pre-/Post-Exercise

  1. What am I missing if my legs are burning and my kneess are aching after activity? I have been taking part in floor hockey and volleyball since Nov and this only started a month ago

    1. Hi Mary,
      Sounds like a great activity! And you may want to ask your doctor about starting an over-the-counter Calcium and/or Potassium supplement. Also, I would recommend making time to stretch before and after games or practice time. Because muscle tightness can start to cause chronic soreness, plus a decrease in flexibility over time.

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