If you exercise frequently, it’s important to eat a well-rounded diet-and to eat frequently. If you haven’t eaten all day and then work out, your body doesn’t have the glucose it needs to function. You’re asking your body to run on fumes, and it won’t feel good.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re going more than four hours between meals, have a snack to prevent energy levels from falling. Soak up the benefits of the 12,000 disease-fighting phytochemicals found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains.
Try “powerhouse” whole foods, including orange and green veggies and fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and low-fat milk products.
When it comes to priming your muscles for a workout, carbs are your best friend. They provide glucose, the fuel your muscles run on. But, like different grades of gasoline, not all carbohydrates are created equally.
Eat a balance of carbs, protein, and fat. Be sure to avoid heavy, salty, or fatty foods.
- Half a banana with a handful of raw nuts or 1⁄4 cup of granola
- Latte with plain soy or skim milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- One apple smeared with a tablespoon of peanut butter or other nut butter
- ¼ cup dry whole oats or 1 packet of quick cooking oatmeal prepared with skim milk or water and tops with a sprinkle of dried fruit
- 1 small box of raisins and 2% string cheese
- ½ whole wheat pita with hummus spread and a 6 ounce can of vegetable juice
- 1 small yogurt-based smoothie
- Whole wheat toast with fruit jam
- 1 mini chicken or tuna salad kit with crackers
- 1 cup tomato soup (skip the cream-based bisque)
- ½ cup homemade snack mix of: 1 cup pretzels, 1/2 cup each low fat wheat and cheddar crackers, and 2 cups rice cereal. Pair with 1 fruit of choice