Fueling Your Walk or Run

How to fuel up for exercise:

By Barbara Bacal, RD

Wondering what to eat before a walk or run?  Look for a snack that’s easy to digest for a quick energy burst.

 

Try a perfectly portion controlled banana or apple or low fat cheese stick. Make sure to stay hydrated when temperatures are high or if you are planning on exercising for 30 minutes or more.  To stay in top shape during any endurance or stamina training, a good rule of thumb is to drink 8 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise.

Equally important as a pre-workout snack is a post workout recovery snack.  The recommendation is to include carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of exercise to stimulate muscle glycogen recovery. A popular choice among athletes has been chocolate milk because it contains carbohydrate & protein and even a little fat (choose low fat milk).  Another great choice is yogurt; choose plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit or even a teaspoon of all-fruit jelly. For a non-dairy snack, consider:  Hummus with carrots or celery; nut –butter on whole grain crackers; or a hardboiled egg on whole grain toast.

 

Try to get your protein in within an hour of more intense exercise, for proper hormonal balance and muscle building- benefits!

 

Summary:

Stay hydrated during your exercise bouts- don’t chug large amounts after or before.
Try to fuel with carbohydrates and protein prior to walking or running.
After running especially, try to incorporate some more protein to recover muscles, as well as carbohydrates to recover glycogen.