Eating For Exercise

drink waterFood is your body’s battery. To get the best mileage out of the old machine, you should gas up on the following foods.

Eating high in carbohydrates

Eating foods high in carbohydrates and low in fat will you make feel better when you exercise. If you are going to exercise for long periods of time then you should store up on carbohydrates regularly. Cereals, breads, vegetables, pasta, rice, and fruit are good carbohydrate sources.

Before an intense workout, avoid carbohydrates high in fiber, such as beans and lentils, bran cereals and fruit. High-fiber foods may give you gas or cause cramping. Fructose, a simple sugar found in fruit, can increase the tendency for diarrhea with high-intensity exercise. You can also drink your carbohydrates in sports beverages or fruit juices.

Proteins and fats

If you’re trying to build muscle then you should make sure you eat foods with lots of proteins. Most people can easily get the protein they need from such foods as poultry, meat, dairy products and nuts and don’t need additional protein supplements.

Fat isn’t as bad for your diet as you may think. Fats, along with carbohydrates, provide fuel for your muscles during exercise. Try to get most of your fat from unsaturated sources such as nuts, fatty fish or vegetable oils. Avoid fatty foods just before exercise.

Drink water

Your body uses water to carry nutrients such as sugar (glucose) to cells and to remove waste products from the cells. The presence of water in your body ensures that you can safely sustain physical activity.

As you exercise, your body produces heat. This heat leaves your body as you perspire, taking with it electrolytes – elements, such as potassium, calcium, sodium and chlorine. If you don’t replace the fluid you lose during exercise, your heart rate increases and your temperature rises, putting you at risk of dehydration as well as compromising your workout.

To stay well hydrated during exercise:

  • Drink eight glasses of water every day and more on days when the temperature and humidity are high.

  • Drink at least one glass of water before and after your workout and every 10 to 15 minutes during your workout to replace fluid lost in perspiration.

  • Avoid substituting water with coffee, tea or soda, because they contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, a substance that causes your body to lose even more water.

The Food Guide Pyramid offers specific information about how much of your daily diet should come from each of these food groups. It measures servings of grains, and meats and beans in "ounce equivalents."Servings of vegetables, fruits and dairy products are measured in "cup equivalents." The amount you should try to eat from each food group depends on your age, sex and level of physical activity. See U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid