Pre and Post Exercise
Nutrition and Hydration
What and When to Eat and Drink
What’s The Big Deal?
WHAT and WHEN you eat can greatly affect
workout performance.
Proper Nutrition and Hydration Benefits:
• Improved strength, speed, and stamina
• Delayed fatigue
• Enhanced healing of injuries
• Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel of the
• Aim for a variety of carbohydrates at each
meal or snack.
• Carbohydrate Foods: Bread, Rice, Pasta,
Cereal, Fruits, Juice, Starchy Vegetables,
Milk Products. Go for whole grain/low fat.
• Choose lean protein to build muscle and
repair tissues.
• Aim to eat 3 servings of low-fat dairy
products daily and 2-3 meat or high-quality
vegetarian protein sources per day.
• Protein is found in meat, poultry, dairy
products, eggs, nuts, tofu, and beans
• Moderation is key here! Fat is a good
energy source, it carries fat soluble
vitamins (A, D, E, K) and adds flavor and
texture to foods.
• Helps sustain prolonged exercise.
• Healthier fat choices: nuts, seeds, olive oil,
fish, and avocados.
• Eating prior to exercise ensures adequate
energy for working muscles.
• Aim of the pre-exercise meal is to top off
glycogen stores in muscles and the liver
for fuel usage during exercise.
• Fluid levels should be raised
to ensure adequate hydration.
• Want to be comfortable during
exercise-not full and not hungry
Timing and Composition
of Meals
• Large meals: 3-4 hours before exercise.
• Small meals/snacks: 1-2 hours before
• High-carbohydrate, low-fat foods are the best
fuel source.
• Include some lean protein to enhance satiety
and control hunger
• Excessive fiber intake prior to exercise
may find you running…
to the bathroom!
Examples of Good Pre-Exercise
Breakfast cereal with low-fat milk
Whole wheat toast with peanut butter
Low fiber granola or cereal bars
Small baked potato with low-fat toppings
Small turkey sandwich
• The body is most receptive to fluid,
carbohydrates and other recovery nutrients
immediately after exercise.
• Goals of post exercise meals:
– Replace muscle and liver
glycogen stores
– Replace fluid and
electrolytes lost in sweat
– Repair muscle damage
caused by exercise
How to Eat to Gain the Most from
Every Workout
Fueling your body for the morning, noon, or
after work workout
Early Riser
Challenge: Fit in exercise and breakfast before work.
Plan: Your body needs fuel before exercising in the
morning. Eat a small, easily digested carb-rich snack
1 hour before exercise. If workout must be really
early, try drinking a glass of hot cocoa the night
before so muscles can store fuel for morning.
Plan a bigger breakfast after exercise.
Best food choices:
Before workout: granola bar, banana, small yogurt
After workout: hearty breakfast of 400-500 calories.
Healthy choices: scrambled eggs, omelet, Canadian
bacon, low-fat cheese, peanut butter, whole wheat
toast, English muffin, bagel, pancakes, fruit.
Exercise Lunch Crunch
Challenge: Have enough energy to workout before
lunch and not be ravenous afterward.
Plan: Eat a substantial, balanced breakfast 3-4 hours
before exercise. If needed have a light snack with
carbs and protein. Plan to eat a healthy lunch after
your workout.
Best food choices:
Pre-workout: yogurt, crackers, fruit, almonds
Post workout: Healthy mix of complex carbs, protein,
and healthy fats. Ex) Tuna Salad Sandwich, Turkey
Avocado Sandwich, Fajita Salad, Chicken Stir-Fry
After-Work Workout
Challenge: Exercising when you’re already hungry for
Lunch was 4-5 hours ago - eating a healthy
afternoon snack is critical.
Best food choices:
Pre-workout: string cheese with whole wheat crackers or
half of a peanut butter sandwich, 8 almonds w/ dried fruit
Post-workout: lean protein, complex carbs, healthy fats
Grilled chicken breast, brown rice & steamed veggies or
grilled fish with whole wheat pasta and a tossed green
What Counts as a Carb Choice?
15 grams of carbohydrate = 1 carb choice
1 oz
½ cup
1 slice bread
1 6” tortilla
½ hamburger
½ small bagel
4-6 crackers
¾ c. high fiber
½ c. hot
1/3 c. cooked
rice, pasta
½ cup
1 cup
1 small
soy milk
15 grapes 8 oz lite yogurt
4 oz regular
1 c.
½ large
½ c. juice
How many carb choices per meal
are right for me?
To Lose Weight
To Control Weight
Women:2-3 choices per meal
(30-45 g per meal)
Men: 3-4 choices per meal
(45-60 g per meal)
3-4 choices per meal
(45-60 g per meal)
4-5 choices per meal
(60-75 g per meal)
No more than 15-30 g per snack
Carb Loading Technique
• Carb Loading is a performance-enhancing
strategy, traditionally done the week prior
to an endurance event.
• Step 1: 7 days out. Reduce carb intake to
~40% and continue usual training in an
effort to deplete glycogen stores
• Step 2: 3-4 days out. Increase carb
intake to ~70%, decrease training. 1-2
days out. Rest completely.
of Carb Loading
• Competitive Edge. May be the extra edge you
need to compete.
• Weight gain. Expect to gain 2 to 4 pounds
during the week you're carbohydrate loading –
much of which is extra water.
• Digestive discomfort. Avoid or limit some highfiber foods one or two days before your event.
Beans, bran and broccoli can cause gassy
cramps, bloating and loose stools when you're
loading up on carbohydrates.
• Blood sugar changes. Carbohydrate loading
can affect your blood sugar levels – especially if
you are diabetic.
• For optimal performance, you need to be
hydrated before, during, and after your workout
– 2 hrs before endurance event drink 2 c. of fluid
• Early fatigue is a sign of dehydration and thirst is
not always a true indicator of fluid needs.
• If exercising, you need 11-14 cups/day of fluid
– can come from food high in water, i.e. fruits & veggies
– consume more in extreme temps & altitude
What to Drink When
The Best Choice: Water
• Helps regulate body temperature
• Rids body of excess salt and other waste
• Helps you maintain concentration,
coordination, and endurance capacity
DRINK IT… After workouts under 30 min. and
throughout the day
What to Drink When
Sports Drinks
• 6-8% carbohydrate concentration
(14-20 gm/serving)- electrolytes allow
them to be absorbed by the body
30% faster than water.
• Provides electrolytes and minerals lost through
sweat and important for fluid retention.
• Adds calories and may cause stomach upset
DRINK IT… After intense workouts over 60 min. you
may want to replenish spent CHO and electrolytes
with a sports drink. Water and a carbohydrate
snack work just as well for most people.
Maximize Your Fluid Intake
• Start hydrating early. Drink 1-2 cups of
lukewarm water when you first wake up. Within
20-30 minutes you should have a BM – which
will make for a MUCH more enjoyable event.
• Carry a water bottle with you all day long.
• Replenish lost fluids during & after a workout – (~2 to 3
cups an hour during workout & 16 oz of fluid per # of
body weight lost after exercise)
• Beer, wine & caffeinated beverages can contribute to
your hydration, but these should not be a major portion
of total daily fluid intake. These drinks can cause a
diuretic effect.
• During exercise and recovery, drink cool (not cold) water
for faster absorption
Eat Smart,
Train Hard,
Live Well
Peanut Butter Plus Sandwich
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup mashed banana (about 1 large)
3 Tbsp golden raisins
1 Tbsp roasted, salted sunflower seed kernel
8 slices whole wheat bread
1. Combine peanut butter and honey in
small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at
high for 20 seconds. Stir in banana,
raisins, and sunflower seeds.
2. Spread about ¼ cup peanut butter
mixture on each of 4 bread slices. Top
with remaining bread slices.
Makes 8 servings (serving size ½ sandwich)
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