In honor of Bone and Joint National Awareness Week (October 12th thru 20th I thought it important to discuss how to eat best for your workout.
Exercise helps maintain bone density, which is critical for osteoporosis prevention, and food is fuel for your exercise. Without it, your body won’t perform or recover at its best. So whether you’re getting ready to hit the gym, go for a run, or take a long bike ride – what you eat matters.
Unfortunately, many people think that what and how they eat only matters if they are training for a marathon or other high endurance sport. But the truth is, it’s also very important for the average person, the non-athlete, who is strictly trying to get in and maintain better shape for their overall health. So what is the ideal meal/snack pre and post exercise? A combination of high fiber carbohydrates and protein is recommended – the carbohydrates for quick energy and the protein to build and repair muscles, especially because, as we age, we naturally lose muscle mass.
Meal timing is also very important. A lot of my patients either never make it to the gym or shorten their workout because they complain of being too tired. I usually insist that it’s because they haven’t eaten for many hours and are running on empty. If you have lunch at 12:00 pm and hit the gym at 6:00 pm you are definitely going to need fuel to keep you going. A small snack about one hour before exercising is what I typically recommend. If you exercise first thing in the morning before breakfast, I also suggest a small snack since breakfast could be many hours later.
As for a post-exercise meal, I highly recommend trying to eat something within one hour. If breakfast, lunch or dinner falls into that timetable, then a snack may not be needed. Keep in mind though that more protein is not necessarily better and you do not need to start stocking up on protein powder or high protein energy bars.
Read the full article here.