Friday, September 14, 2012

Proper Nutrition

So last night, I was very very bad.  I usually take a bite of my BF's dessert, last night I ate almost the ENTIRE piece of oreo cheesecake.  Was it within my calories for the week, yes... did the sugar help my work out this morning, NO.  Which made me think about how important food is to your exercise regimen.

Proper nutrition is at least as important to health as exercise. When exercising it becomes even more important to have good diet to aid the body with the recovery process following strenuous exercise

A recent studies found a corelation between eating & exercising whatever can make or break your workout.

When you eat and what you eat can affect your performance and the way you feel during your workout. Coordinate your meals, snacks and fluids to make the most of your exercise routine.

Eating before exercise can slow you down:

When you exercise after a large meal, you can feel sluggish or have an upset stomach, cramping and diarrhea. That's because your muscles and your digestive system are competing with each other for resources.

Time it right: Before, during and after your workout
On the flip side, not eating before you exercise can be just as bad as eating too much. Low blood sugar levels that result from not eating can make you feel weak, faint or tired, and your mental abilities may be affected as well, making you slower to react. So what can you do?  I drink some whey protien (120 calories but 24 grams of protien, low sugar) and that seems to help me get through my work out first thing in the morning. Some times I will just drink it right after my work out. That helps muscles recover!

If you work out later in the day, time your meals. Eat large meals at least three to four hours before exercising. If you're having a small meal, eat two to three hours before exercising. Most people can eat snacks right before and during exercise. The key is how you feel. Some people feel lightheaded during the first 10 to 15 minutes of their workout if they eat within an hour before exercise. Do what works best for you.  Don't skip meals. Skipping meals may cause low blood sugar, which can make you feel weak and lightheaded.

Here are 4 no-no foods that could set the clock back to your pre-workout days, before you got serious about exercising to keep fit.

1. Sugar-High Energy Bars, Fruit Drinks and Soda

These are put into one category because the three items have something negative in common: lots of sugar. After a workout, sugar from soft drinks and fructose from fruit juice set your metabolism back to slow. All the energy that was built up by exercise is reversed when your body takes in all that sugar from oversweetened fruit drinks. Read labels carefully. If the grams of sugar are steep according to the label, then reach instead for bottled water. Unsweetened iced tea is another good choice.

 2. Weight-Loss Crudites

This may sound counter-intuitive to a keep-fit regimen, but do not reach for celery and carrot sticks as your recovery snack after a workout. After a workout, you need something more substantial than foods with negligible calories. You need to choose a combination of carbs and protein that will help you restore energy and maintain a healthy metabolic rate.

The easiest way to remember this rule is to think of protein plus carbs. Eggs and toast, if it is a morning workout, is perfect. Evening workouts can be finished off with a half cup of cottage cheese and a peanut butter sandwich; or a handful of nuts.

3. Too Many Fats

Avoid fatty snacks and mini-meals such as french fries or oily pizza or fast-food subs and burgers. Fitness experts say that only a small percent of your meal should be comprised of fat.

4. Salty Snacks

A protein and carbohydrate post-workout meal such as the ones suggested here have enough salt in them to cover your needs. Loss of minerals such as potassium is far more necessary to think about, than loss of salt. You can easily resolve this loss by eating a handful of dried fruit or a banana. In fact, an excess of salt will drive down your levels of potassium.

When it comes to eating and exercise, everyone is different. So pay attention to how you feel during your workout and your overall performance. Let your experience guide you on which pre- and post-exercise eating habits work best for you.

Have a very fit day!

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