Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fuel Up to Exercise Right

Summer time for you might mean less studying and more time to get in shape. Whether you are training for something serious or simply exercising for health, it is good to understand a few healthy eating tips to help your workout.

Hydrate: Drinking consistently throughout the day is important to keep your body functioning at maximum capacity. Especially in South Texas, you will need plain water to keep you hydrated. Have plain water during and after your workout to help speed the recovery process.

Sports Drinks: These beverages are designed for exercise lasting longer than one hour. They contain electrolytes (which are lost through sweat) and carbohydrates (as an energy source for prolonged exercise). Even though they are sports related, they are not necessarily "healthy". Unless you need them for fuel and hydration, you may be overconsuming calories.

Carbohydrates: Your body needs carbohydrates. And, no, they are not unhealthy! If you are regularly active, it is important to restock your carbohydrate stores by having low sugar, whole grain versions of this nutrient. If you workout in the morning, a plain banana is a light snack that can give you a boost when you don't have time for breakfast. Later in the day, make sure you have a snack containing carbohydrate 2-4 hours prior to your workout.

Protein: Necessary to rebuild and repair muscle tissue, protein (whether from plants or animals) is an important part of your diet. Your body does not need protein supplements since the American diet is plentiful in high quality protein. Make sure you get some type of protein in the meal or snack that occurs after your workout. Skim chocolate milk is an excellent post-workout snack because it is a combination of carbohydrate and protein.

Fruits and Vegetable: Always include these two food groups in every meal. They will provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at full potential. You can't replace fruits and vegetables with a supplement, so make sure to have 5-9 combined servings daily.

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