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Nutrition for Athletes >> What Should an Athlete Eat
Before, During and After Exercise
- What Should an Athlete Eat Before, During and After Exercise
most important thing is to concentrate on eating a nutritious,
balanced diet every day. This provides plenty of energy
to grow and exercise. Here are a few tips about eating before,
during and after exercise.
some high carbohydrate foods like bananas, bagels or fruit
juices. These foods are broken down quickly and provide
glucose to the muscles.
timing of this meal depends on athletes' preference for
eating before exercise, but researchers have found that
eating something from 1 to 4 hours before exercise helps
keep plenty of blood glucose available for working muscles.
is also critical to drink plenty of cool water before
exercise to keep muscles hydrated.
and exertion deplete the body of fluids necessary for
an optimal performance and lead to dehydration. It is
important to drink plenty of cool water, at least a half
a cup of water every 20 minutes of exercise. Adding a
teaspoon of sugar, a little fruit juice or a small amount
of powdered drink mix flavors plain water and may encourage
there is no need to worry about replacing carbohydrates
unless the exercise lasts over 90 minutes and is hard
and continuous. When this happens, drinking a sports drink
or other beverage with some sugar in it will fuel and
water to the muscles being exercised.
a homemade sports drink by mixing no more than 4 teaspoon
of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and some flavoring (like
a teaspoon of lemon juice) in 8 ounces of water.
the exercise was strenuous and lasted a long time, glycogen
stores may need refueling. Consuming foods and beverages
high in carbohydrates right after exercise will replenish
glycogen stores if they are low after exercising.
matter the intensity of the exercise, it's important to
drink plenty of water and eat a nutritious, balanced meal
that has lots of carbohydrate rich foods such as grains,
pastas, potatoes, vegetables and fruits. A teaspoon of
sugar, at only 15 calories* per teaspoon, adds flavor
to these foods and may increase taste appeal.
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