Are you wondering about fueling yourself for fitness? Do you worry about eating too much or too little or the wrong foods?
Here are my tips:
I aim to have a carbohydrate-based meal 1-2 hours before, choosing easy-to-digest, lower GI carbohydrates where possible. Personally, I love nut butter and banana on toast, some overnight oats or a smoothie as they leave me feeling energised for my workout. If you are exercising and don’t have time for a meal before the workout then have a top-up snack like a banana 30-60 minutes beforehand.
It’s also useful to bare in mind that if you are working out at a moderate pace for less than an hour, your body has natural energy reserves in the muscles and liver which means that you can exercise in a fasted state.
During the workout:
Keep hydrated by sipping on your water throughout. There is generally no need for an energy top-up but if you are exercising for more than 60 minutes then consider refueling up with a carbohydrate-based snack like dried fruit. To make your own energy drink mix 500ml fruit juice, 500ml water (previously boiled and cooled) and 1g salt in a bottle, mix well and drink.
Aim to refuel with both protein and carbohydrates, ideally within a short window for optimal recovery. You might benefit from choosing a higher GI carbohydrate here as they will rapidly boost blood glucose levels and help to top-up glycogen stores after prolonged or high-intensity exercise. You could try things like toast topped with eggs and avocado, a smoothie made with Greek yogurt and milk or a baked potato with beans.
When it comes to re-hydration a good way to gauge if you’re hydrated enough is to check the colour of your pee, the clearer/ paler the better. To hydrate more effectively, add a pinch of salt to your water or have a drink that has added electrolyte to replace those lost in sweat.