Foods that Fuel for Fitness
Exercise is an important part of keeping your body healthy. To optimize your workouts, it’s essential to fuel your body properly. Since food is our fuel, we need to understand when is the best time to eat as well as what to put into our bodies. Whether you are a passionate athlete or simply enjoy going for brisk walks, read on to discover ways to sustain energy and make the most of your workout.
The most important time to focus on food is before and after exercising. Try to eat about two hours before working out to allow your body time to digest the meal and store energy. Focus on eating healthy carbs such as brown rice, whole grain cereal, fruits, vegetables, whole wheat toast or whole wheat pasta. Post workout, be sure to replenish your body with carbs and protein to help repair muscles. Chocolate milk is an easy grab-and-go option and the perfect combination of both carbs and protein. Other post-workout snacks include Greek yogurt with fruit, hard-cooked eggs, dates with nut butter, or a protein shake with protein powder, peanut butter and banana.
Staying hydrated is also incredibly important, as we lose significant amounts of fluid while exercising. Try to drink about 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before exercising and about 8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
Your diet throughout the day is just as important as pre and post workout meals and snacks. Eating with fitness in mind will keep your body in great shape on the inside as well as outside. Consider including the following foods in your diet as they provide your body with the proper vitamins, minerals and fuel for fitness.
- Bananas: easy to digest and great source of potassium, which reduces muscle cramps
- Coffee: improves endurance
- Oats: rich in carbs and help sustain energy
- Pumpkin: contains high levels of omega-3’s and fights inflammation
- Yogurt: high in protein and absorbs quickly, repairing muscles
- Beet Juice: nitrates increase blood flow, bringing more oxygen to muscles
- Organic Maple Syrup: includes 24 different antioxidants that protect from workout “wear and tear”
Always consult a physician to ensure you’re meeting your own health and dietary needs.