In response to Serenity's question: "When and what do u guys eat when exercising?" This is an article originally posted on my own blog.
What should you eat prior to exercise?
Carbohydrate is the preferred source of fuel for our bodies, as it is easily digested, so try to make sure that your pre-workout meal, or snack, includes plenty. However, this doesn’t mean that we should avoid protein and fat, just take care not to eat too much, especially if you’re planning to exercise within the next 1-2 hours.
When should you eat?
* If you’re having a larger meal, eat 4-6 hours prior to exercise.
* If you’re having a smaller meal, eat 2-3 hours before exercising.
* If you’re having a small snack, depending on the content, eat around 1/2-1 hour before exercise.
There are no hard and fast rules per se, and what works for one individual, may not work for another. You should experiment with different foods, and snacks, to find out what works best for you.
Key points to remember when choosing a pre-workout snack/meal:
* Don’t skip meals.
* A high carbohydrate, low fat snack will be more easily digested.
* Fatty meals, or snacks, take longer to empty from the stomach, so these should be avoided.
* Your meal should contain a moderate amount of protein to satisfy hunger.
* Drink plenty of fluids during the day, as well as during and after exercise.
* Start refueling as soon as possible after exercise.
Top pre-workout snacks:
* A small bowl of cereal, or oatmeal, with milk and a banana
* 1 bagel spread with cottage spread
* 1/2 cup of nuts and dried fruit
* Wholegrain crackers with cheese and tomato
* Fresh fruits, such as an orange, banana, apple, pear, plum
* Vegetable, or chicken noodle soup
* 3/4 cup of yogurt with a handful of berries
* 1 wholegrain English muffin, or toast, with peanut butter/honey/cheese
* Half a sandwich, with wholegrain bread, salad, and lean meat
* A smoothie made with milk, and fresh, frozen or canned fruit
* 3 fig cookies
* Low fat granola bar
* Glass of milk, or pure fruit/vegetable juice
* Raw vegetables with hummus
* 1 hard boiled egg
It’s important to start refueling as soon as possible after exercise, and depending on the time of day, this may be your next meal, or just a suitable snack, to keep you going until it’s time for your main meal. Also, try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, as well as during, and after exercise.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and you probably have your own suggestions to add. I’d love to hear from you too, what snacks do you eat pre-workout, to help keep your energy levels up?