What is healthy for you while working out or playing?
1) How much water are you supposed to be drinking while working out?
- Consuming water or other fluids is essential while exercising
- While exercising, it is better to consume small amounts of water or sports drinks frequently than to gulp large volumes occasionally or not drinking at all
- Drink sports drinks, not energy drinks. Don’t confuse the two while exercising.
- Avoid fluids with high caffeine levels (coffee/energy drinks) or alcohol
- Dehydration can decrease your performance. Excessive dehydration causes a sudden increase in body temperature, which may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
2) What are you supposed to be eating?
- For regular physical activity and sports, you would need a higher percentage of nutrients from carbohydrates, as they are the primary source of energy
- We need to match our food intake to our energy expenditure to maintain a healthy body weight
- Sweet foods (sugar, honey & soft drinks) will provide quick, short term energy, as they are easily absorbed for use by the muscles. If the exercise is lengthy, however, these quick sources of energy may not provide enough for sustained participation.
- Consume complex carbohydrates, some protein, and a little fat a few hours before exercise, and simple carbohydrates just before exercise
3) Should you eat before your workout?
- To get the most out of a morning workout, you need to eat a proper pre-exercise meal at the proper time so that your body and muscles can absorb the nutrients. The ideal time would be 1 to 2 hours before your workout.
- In the case of a morning workout, you may not have eaten in 8 to 12 hours
- By not eating prior to a workout, your muscles will deplete their energy stores more quickly, thereby leaving you without the energy you need to finish your workout.
4) Why should you eat after the workout?
- Eating after your workout allows muscles to recover their lost glycogen more quickly and allows you to get over any fatigue
- The critical time to eat following exercise is the first 30 minutes to two hours.
- During this time, physical activity participants need to consume foods with a high-glycemic index (simple carbohydrates), proteins and fats
5) How can you rehydrate after your exercise?
- In addition to ensuring proper food intake, rehydration or drinking of fluids is also critical during post-exercise recovery
- Participants who do not have “an appetite” immediately following exercise could consider drinking milk or juices
6) How can you prevent muscle cramps?
- Generally, muscle cramps are caused by an excess of fluid loss through sweating, not inadequate salt intake
- While we need sodium to keep the body running normally (e.g., to maintain fluid balance, regulate nerve impulses and muscle function), too much sodium is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
7) Watch how you lose weight!
- Rapid weight loss can be detrimental to physical performance and, more importantly, to overall health
- Rapid weight loss through excessive exercising, diet pills & laxatives is a concern
8) What are the supplements you can take while exercising?
- Taking special supplements, such as amino acids, bee pollen, ginseng, and brewer’s yeast, cannot replace a balanced eating program.
- Alone, vitamins and minerals are not an energy supply. What they do is help release the chemical energy found in food that is ingested as part of a balanced eating plan.