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Fuel your Fitness

sport nutrition - Fuel your Fitness
A balanced diet with a variety of different foods is always the best to ensure you get all the nutrients to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. For optimal results and performance, you need to eat the correct amounts at the right time: Portions and required amounts depend on your weight, age, fitness level, goals, activity (type, duration & intensity). But, for general health and fitness goals, we need to make sure our bodies have what it NEEDS for sustained energy during the exercise session, we want to recover faster after the training and maintain overall health. All to make sure we get fitter, stronger and get ready for the next session.

BEFORE EXERCISE

Food intake

As a general rule of thumb, we shouldn't eat within 1-2 hours before exercise (but this can change according to personal preference). This pre-workout snack should contain a starch - preferably wholegrain and low GI but not exceptionally high in fiber (as this may give you some abdominal discomfort during your exercise). It should also include some protein (this may speed up recovery after training).

Water

You should make sure you're hydrated prior to starting your exercise session.Don't overdo it though, over-hydration may lead to discomfort during training.

Options:

  • Bowl oats with low fat milk
  • Cheese sandwich (1 slice bread)
  • Peanut butter on 1 slice toast
  • Plain pasta with vegetable-based sauce (small serving)
  • 1 fruit with low fat yogurt / Fruit smoothie: Fruit, water, low fat yogurt/milk, ice
sport nutrition - Fuel your Fitness

AFTER EXERCISE

Food intake

Within 30 minutes after the training ended you should have this snack to optimally help the body recover and repair any "muscle damage" that may have occurred during training. It should contain protein and carbohydrates to replenish energy and save muscles.  

Water

The main aim here is to REPLACE LOSSES! When we exercise, we lose a lot of fluid through our sweat. The more you sweat (like in warmer, more humid conditions or with more intensive sessions) the more you need to replace! You need to take care to also replace electrolytes that might be lost via sweat. Sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are of interest.


Options: 
  • Low fat chocolate flavored milk
  • 1 fruit with 2 tablespoons raw nuts 
  • Low fat yogurt with a banana (bananas help replace electrolytes)
  • 1 egg on 1 slice bread
  • Banana and peanut butter smoothie (made with ice, water, 1 banana and 1 tablespoon peanut butter)

If your goal is to lose weight, try to keep the pre- and post-workout snacks part of  your kilojoule-controlled meal plan. So plan your snacks according to your training plan to avoid adding extra kilojoules that might sabotage your weight loss efforts.

This is generalized guidelines for maintaining energy when doing exercise (not specified for competitive training or performance). For individualized meal plans and guidelines contact your dietitian. 
sport nutrition - Fuel your Fitness

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