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Fueling Fitness

June 30, 2016 – Hi, guys! Tara Gidus here – Registered Dietitian and member of the ALDI Advisory Council. I’m here to share my favorite tips to boost your workout by fueling up with the right foods. Check them out below!

To optimize fitness, beat fatigue and increase performance, it’s important to get the right fuel. In order to gain the results you desire, make sure you’re eating properly before and after workouts. Timing and the right types of food are key to maintaining energy, not only during your workouts, but throughout the rest of your day.

The purpose of eating before working out is to increase your endurance and provide fuel to the working muscles. With proper fuel, you may be able to lengthen your cardio workout and lift weights more easily. A pre-workout meal or snack should focus on providing energy and hydration. Foods that are high in carbohydrates are easy and quick to digest, providing fuel for the muscles. You should aim to eat 30-60 grams of carbohydrates about one hour before a workout.

My Favorite Pre-Sweat Snacks:

Pre- workout snack suggestions including wheat bread with peanut butter, fresh fruit, and yogurt.

Hydration is also extremely important. Did you know your body is comprised 62.5% of fluid? During a workout, we lose fluid through our sweat and breathe more heavily. It’s important to prepare for this loss by drinking about 2 or more glasses (16-20 oz.) of water about 1-2 hours before a workout, and 4-8 oz. every 15-20 minutes during exercise, especially endurance exercise.

Refueling after a workout is just as important as your pre-workout fuel. Post-workout nutrition should focus on the 3 R’s: Rehydrate, Refuel the body, and Rebuild muscle.

  • Rehydrate with 2 or more cups of fluid (16-20 oz.) within 1-2 hours after your workout.
  • Refuel energy with carbohydrates within 30 minutes post-workout.
  • Rebuild with protein within 2 hours post-workout.

A post-workout meal should include about 45-90 grams of carbohydrates, as well as 10-30 grams of protein to assist with muscle growth and repair. Carbs help to replenish glycogen (energy) used during exercise and the protein can be used to rebuild the muscles.

Post-Workout Eats:

Post workout snack recommendations including frozen fruit smoothies and carrots and hummus.

By fueling yourself the right way, you’ll be able to tackle your workout and recover properly to be ready for your next challenge!

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3 thoughts on “Fueling Fitness

  1. LJE

    What foods are good for exercise for diabetics, Type II? The article is to increase carbs and diabetics should watch the amount of carbs.

    1. Paul

      I am not a dietician, but protein, protein, protein. A great rule is divide calories by grams of protein – target foods that have a ratio of 15 or less – ideally 10 or less. That means they are protein dense, low carb and low sugar, but support the nutrients you need for exercise.

  2. Martha

    This was very helpful.. thanks.. i just started working out.. its been 2 weeks.. I love it.. i feel alive after.. but also so hungry.. this really helped me alot to understand..

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