Special thanks to Heather Weber for inviting me to share some nutrition tips with her 5K and 10K walking groups last Friday evening. I thought I’d take a moment to share this info with the rest of you.
Never workout on a full stomach. Wait at least 3-4 hours after a large meal, 2-3 hours after a small meal or 1-2 hours after a snack.
A good pre workout snack should be small (100-200 calories), easy to digest,and carbohydrate based (add protein if muscle training). Some examples would be:
1) A smoothie made with plain yogurt, fresh berries and a little maple syrup (mmmm, the best milkshake ever!)
2) A whole-grain, low sugar cereal bar. I like Kashi granola bars for their high fibre content, low refined sugar levels and great taste!
A 30 minute to 1 hour workout requires no other replenishment than water. However, electrolytes are still important if activity is longer than one hour. This means a drink containing minerals that are important for the body such as sodium, potassium and chloride. Low levels can be dangerous for the muscles including the heart. Most common electrolyte replacements are high in sugar and food dyes, so consider a natural product from your local health food store or try this simple recipe from common household ingredients:
1 litre of boiled water
1 tbsp peppermint leaves
1 tbst fennel seeds
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 baking soda
1/4 tsp potassium chloride (also called No-salt or Nu-salt, a salt substitute)
2 tbsp sugar (can use honey or maple syrup instead)
Prepare in advance and serve chilled
Recovery foods should be eaten within 30-60 minutes after exercise. Once again a small, carbohydrate rich snack (see Pre workout) and water or an electrolyte replacement for rehydration. If you are weight training, don’t forget to add some protein to help build those muscles. A great snack in this case would be a piece of crispbread, such as Ryvita, with almond butter on top. If your workout is short, you only need a post workout snack if your next meal is more than an hour away. Most importantly, if weight loss is your goal, make sure your snack calories don’t exceed those you just burned in your workout.