As the weather gets nice we take to the outdoors and increase our activity. It is natural to be more sedentary during the winter months and increase our activity as it gets nicer outside. If you are increasing your activity to increase your fitness level remember that it is not fitness without nutrition. This article about fueling your workout was written by senior dietetics major Dana Rybak may help.
What you eat before and after a workout really matters! Information about what to eat when it comes time for fitness can be confusing. No matter what time of day you exercise or what your fitness goals are, the key to an effective workout begins and ends with good nutrition.
The major source of fuel for active muscles is carbohydrates. Eating a carbohydrate-rich food 30-60 minutes before exercising creates readily available fuel that will keep you energized as you work out. Higher-fat foods before exercising are slower to digest, stay in your stomach longer and can cause some stomach upset.
Your post-exercise meal or snack is important for muscle recovery, especially if you’ve had an intense workout. Eat a key combination that pairs protein (for muscle healing) and carbohydrates (for replenishing energy). Consuming this energy-replacing duo within 30-60 minutes of working out is important since that is when your muscles are most receptive.
Some great examples include:
- A piece of fruit
- Toasted English muffin with jam
- Peanut butter on ½ bagel
- Handful of goldfish crackers
- Glass of chocolate milk
- Yogurt topped with granola
- Small bowl of whole grain cereal with low-fat milk
- Fruit smoothie
And rememeber “It is not fitness without nutrition.”