Fuel up - Energize for Activites
It's important to start to make healthy food choices on a regular basis, but once you add more activity to your life it's important to look at your food choices around your activity. With more activity comes a higher sweat and energy loss. These fluid and food losses need to be replaced to fuel your next workout session.
Sport nutrition looks at fuel (food and fluids) before, during, and after your exercise or activity. The quantity (how much), quality (what), and timing (when) are all important. Remember that everyone is unique and others may tolerate foods/fluids differently than you.
What you eat or drink before activity will provide energy, hydrate you, and prevent hunger. Aim to choose high carbohydrate, moderate protein, low fat, and low fibre foods and fluids. The focus is on carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar levels and low fat and low fibre to allow your stomach to empty and minimize intestinal concerns. Around activity you want to choose foods that are familiar to you so that you know how you will tolerate them.
To determine timing you need to see what makes sense for you to allow adequate digestion time. Generally recognized guidelines are that if you have lots of time (3-4 hours) you can have more food because you have more time for it to digest. Less time (2-3 hours) means a smaller meal, and even less time (1-2 hours) means a small snack or liquid meal.
A meal may be something such as a grilled chicken sandwich, carrots, and milk or lentil soup, crackers, cheese, and vegetable juice. However, a snack could be a piece of fruit or a muffin and applesauce or a pita and hummus. Try some different combinations and keep a list of what works well for you. Plan to have those foods readily available to fuel your workouts.
Stephanie Wheler, RD
Something Nutrishus Counselling & Coaching