Confused about what to eat before, during and after your workout? Here’s a summary of research from the American College of Sports Medicine:
* Before exercise: a meal or snack should provide sufficient fluid to maintain hydration, be relatively low in fat and fiber to facilitate gastric emptying and minimize gastrointestinal distress, be relatively high in carbohydrate to maximize maintenance of blood glucose, be moderate in protein, be composed of familiar foods, and be well tolerated by the athlete.
* During exercise: primary goals for nutrient consumption are to replace fluid losses and provide carbohydrates (approximately 30-60 g·h−1) for maintenance of blood glucose levels. These nutrition guidelines are especially important for endurance events lasting longer than an hour when the athlete has not consumed adequate food or fluid before exercise or when the athlete is exercising in an extreme environment (heat, cold, or high altitude).
* After exercise: dietary goals are to provide adequate fluids, electrolytes, energy, and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and ensure rapid recovery. A carbohydrate intake of approximately 1.0-1.5 g·kg−1 body weight (0.5-0.7 g·lb−1) during the first 30 min and again every 2 h for 4-6 h will be adequate to replace glycogen stores. Protein consumed after exercise will provide amino acids for building and repair of muscle tissue.