Fueling Your Workout

by Bea | September 18th, 2012 | Workout Fuel

One of the worst things you could do for yourself while exercising is to not have enough fuel to get yourself through your workout. Without properly fueling yourself, you are only harming your workout and tiring out your body. You need the right types of energy, such as carbohydrates, to get yourself through a workout effectively.

While what you eat and drink is important, one of the most important factors is timing. You have probably heard that you shouldn’t eat right before you exercise, but what happens if you are a morning exerciser? Your body still needs something to work off of; if you haven’t had anything to eat all night, then there might not be enough there in the morning to run on. Grab something that’s digested pretty easily, such as a fruit and yogurt shake.

You only need about 100 to 200 calories prior to exercising, and those calories should be focused more on carbohydrates with a little bit of protein and fat. Your snack should not feel heavy in your stomach, and if you can, try to wait an hour prior to exercising. If you really can’t afford to wait an hour, some people suggest drinking hot chocolate before going to bed.

What about if you are one to exercise in the middle of the day? You probably want to get your workout in before you eat that lunch of yours. You should have had a few light snacks throughout the day to prevent you from hitting that wall of hunger at exactly the time when you want to start your workout. Then, once you are back from your workout, eat first and then go shower. Yes, that might seem a little unhygienic, but you will be recover better from your workout if you eat right afterwards.

The same type of eating style could be applied to going for a run right before dinner. Try having some chocolate milk, peanut butter, yogurt,  crackers, fruit, or a recovery sports drink. Once you start to get into a routine, you will be able to determine how much fuel your body can handle prior to getting into a workout. Who knows, I once knew a guy who won races while eating PopTarts 10 minutes prior to the starting gun going off!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.