Eating and Exercise:
Time it Right to Maximize Your Workout

When you eat and what you eat can affect your performance and the way you feel during your workout. To get the most from your workout, follow these guidelines:

•Wake up early enough to eat a full breakfast. "Most of the energy you got from dinner last night is used up by morning," says Stephen DeBoer, a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. This. "Your blood sugar is low. If you don't eat, you may feel sluggish or lightheaded while exercising." If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a smaller breakfast or drink something to raise your blood sugar, such as a sports drink.
•Time your meals. Eat large meals at least three to four hours before exercising. If you're having a small meal, eat two to three hours before exercising.
•Don't skip meals. Skipping meals may cause low blood sugar, which can make you feel weak and lightheaded.
•Eat after your workout. To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours of your exercise session if possible.

What to eat: Getting the right fuel for your best performance
Carbohydrates: Your body's chief source of fuel Your body stores excess carbohydrates as glycogen — primarily in your muscles and liver. Your muscles rely on stored glycogen for energy. Cereals, breads, vegetables, pasta, rice and fruit are good carbohydrate sources. But right before an intense workout, avoid carbohydrates high in fiber, they may give you gas or cause cramping. If you don't like to eat solid foods before exercising, drink your carbohydrates in sports beverages or fruit juices. If you're a long-distance runner or you exercise for long periods of time, you might want to consume more carbohydrates regularly and consider carbohydrate loading before a big athletic event.
Protein and fats: Important, but not your body's top fuel choice Protein isn't your body's food of choice for fueling exercise, but it does play a role in muscle repair and growth. Fat is an important, although smaller, part of your diet. Fats, along with carbohydrates, provide fuel for your muscles during exercise. Try to get most of your fat from unsaturated sources such as nuts, fatty fish or vegetable oils. Avoid fatty foods just before exercising
Water: Drink plenty to avoid dehydration The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you drink 8 glasses of water every day and more when the temperature and humidity are high. Drink at least one glass of water before and after your workout and every 10 to 15 minutes during your workout to replace fluid lost in perspiration. Avoid substituting water with coffee, tea or soda, because they contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, a substance that causes your body to lose even more water.
Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluid, unless you're exercising for more than 60 minutes. In that case, sip a sports drink to help maintain your electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy from the carbohydrates in it.

click here to read the full story from the Mayo Clinic

Warm Up to Work Out

from the American Council on Exercise
ACE asks "Suppose you were told that you only had to add an extra five to 10 minutes to each of your workouts in order to prevent injury and lessen fatigue. Would you do it?" Those few extra minutes are called a warm-up.
A gradual warm-up:- Leads to efficient calorie burning by increasing your core body temperature - Produces faster, more forceful muscle contractions - Increases your metabolic rate so oxygen is delivered to the working muscles more quickly - Prevents injuries by improving the elasticity of your muscles - Gives you better muscle control by speeding up your neural message pathways to the muscles - Allows you to work out comfortably longer because all your energy systems are able to adjust to exercise, preventing the buildup of lactic acid in the blood - Improves joint range of motion - Psychologically prepares you for higher intensities by increasing your arousal and focus on exercise
Your warm-up should consist of two phases: 1) progressive aerobic activity that utilizes the muscles you will be using during your workout, and 2) flexibility exercises. Stretching muscles after warming them up with low-intensity aerobic activity will produce a better stretch since the rise in muscle temperature and circulation increases muscle elasticity, making them more pliable.
For more information click here to read the whole story from the American Council on Exercise.

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