Fitness and nutrition go hand-in-hand. You really cannot have one without the other. What and when you eat can have a big effect on how you are feeling when you exercise. This can be whether it is a serious competition or just a casual work out.
The intensity and duration of whatever activity you choose dictates what you should drink and eat, and how often. Paying attention to the snacks and meals that you consume will provide you with a great benefit during your fitness workouts.
Eating a healthy breakfast is essential. If you work out in the morning you should get up early enough to be able to eat breakfast first. This means you may have to rise one or two hours earlier before you begin your workout.
Typically your blood sugar is low in the morning because most of the energy from the previous night’s dinner has been used up. If you do not eat before your workout, you can feel lightheaded or sluggish when you are exercising.
If you are going to be doing your workout within an hour after you eat breakfast, try to keep it lighter or drink something that will help to raise your blood sugar levels. Carbs are great in the morning to help maximize energy. Bananas, whole-grain cereals, juice, low-fat milk, and whole grain breads are all good choices in the morning.
Be very aware of how much you are eating before you start to exercise. The general rule would be if you are eating a large meal, try to consume it at least 3 to 4 hours before you begin your workout. If you are eating a smaller meal try to keep it at least 2 to 3 hours before your workout, and a small snack should be at least an hour before your workout.
If you eat too much before you start your exercise you can end up with stomach cramps, or you may feel really sluggish. If you eat too little, you may not have enough energy to feel strong enough throughout your workout. Either way, you are missing out on maximizing your full workout potential.
Snacking can be very important. Some people eat small snacks before beginning and then during their workouts. The trick to this is being aware of how you feel. You need to find the foods that seem to work best for you.
If you are eating right before your workout, the snack is not going to give you much added energy, but it can help to keep your blood sugar up during the exercise. Good choices for snacks are foods such as granola bars, yogurt, energy drinks or bars, fresh fruit or bananas, crackers with peanut butter, whole grain bagels, or fruit smoothies. If you are working out several hours after you have eaten a meal, a healthy snack is really important to help provide you with the energy that you need.
Eating the proper foods at the right times can greatly help to maximize your energy levels so you can get the most out of your workouts to help you achieve your fitness goals.