How to fuel a workout

How to fuel a workout
November 28, 2017 Marisa Michael



How to fuel a workout

Everyone can benefit from fueling their body according to their activity needs, whether it is a person with a physically demanding job, a mom with an active family, a daily exerciser, or a weekend warrior. Here are some tips to make sure you are eating right. You can download our free Exercise Fueling Guide for tons of ideas.

What to eat before exercise

If you are working out before breakfast, eat something small and easily digestible like ½ c orange juice, a mini bagel, or a piece of white toast. If you are working out later in the day, you don’t need to eat specifically for your workout unless you experience breakthrough hunger while you’re exercising. In this case, try a piece of fruit or a jam sandwich.

What to eat during exercise

If the workout is less than 60-90 minutes, you probably don’t need to eat anything. For longer activities, like multiple games in one day or marathon training, eating during exercising will enable you to sustain your activity longer. Use only easily digestible carbohydrates, such as sports gels, drinks, and gummies, a banana, a roll with honey, or pretzels. Remember to hydrate.

What to eat after exercise

A meal with both protein and carbohydrate will help replenish muscles used in your workout. Chocolate milk, a fruit smoothie with yogurt, a sandwich, or stir-fry with lean meat and veggies are all good choices. Don’t forget to rehydrate with water or a sports drink.

Fueling tips for exercising kids

Children need enough calories, protein, and nutrients to grow. Active children have additional needs to fuel their sport. If your child has a cramped schedule with little time for eating, bring snacks in their sports bag. Things like string cheese, yogurt, a turkey sandwich, and chocolate milk can fit into a small cooler. You can also bring along pretzels, fresh fruit, 100% juice, peanut or almond butter sandwiches, and fruit-filled cereal bars. Don’t forget the water for hydration.

Contact a sports dietitian for more tailored advice to meet your specific needs and check out our Endurance Fueling course. 

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    ~This is general nutrition information only and not intended to be specialized advice. Always check with your healthcare provider before undergoing any diet and lifestyle changes

    This article appeared in the April/May 2016 edition of Portland Metro Living.