DIET AND EXERCISEWoman Tying Measuring Tape Around Her Waist

Here is some information that may be helpful to you in regards to diet and exercise:

Whether you’re a “weekend warrior” trying to stay fit or an athlete training for a marathon, what you eat can affect how you perform. Eating right can give you the edge to help energize your workout or reach that 26th mile. But which foods are best for fitness activities, and which should you avoid?

Fueling exercise requires quality carbohydrates, lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and fluids. Your muscles rely on carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables for a quick energy source. Protein is needed to build and maintain muscles and for healthy blood cells. Blood cells deliver nutrients and oxygen to working muscles.

Foods provide the gas to the body’s engine, and fluids provide the water to your body’s radiator. Without these crucial fuels and fluids, your body will have a hard time performing at its best.

Is there an ideal pre-sport or exercise meal?

The ideal pre-sport meal has five characteristics:

  1. Low fat
  2. Moderate in carbohydrates and protein
  3. Low fiber
  4. Contains fluids
  5. Made up of familiar, well-tolerated foods.

The pre-game meal is not the time to try a new food. A grilled chicken sandwich or a slice of cheese pizza might fit the pre-game meal description, but stay clear of the fried food (including french fries), greasy burgers, and soft drinks.

Why is it so important to drink plenty of liquids during exercise?

Not only does being well hydrated improve your performance, it can save your life. Water acts as your body’s cooling system; without sufficient water during exercise your body temperature can reach dangerously high levels.

The best way to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of fluids with meals and drink about two cups (16 ounces) of water two hours before exercise. Monitor your hydration status through two simple measures:

  • Weigh yourself before and after exercise and replace lost weight with 2 cups of fluids for each pound lost.
  • Check the color of your urine. When you’re hydrated, your urine will be a light straw color.