Eating for energy, sports and fitness

By Leika Suzumura, R.D., former PCC Nutrition Educator

This article was originally published in April 2011

hiking

Spring’s longer daylight hours are an inspiration to get outside and awaken from our winter slump. Naturally, we feel stronger and perform better when we fuel our bodies with foods that will keep us energized. Whether you’re training for a marathon, gearing up for a game or heading out on a beautiful hike, here are some tips to power up for success.

Tips to remember

  • Drink plenty of water — before, during and after exercise.
  • Eat quality carbohydrates before strenuous exercise — brown rice or other whole grains, pasta, fruits or starchy vegetables like potatoes.
  • Get an extra boost from antioxidant-rich, colorful vegetables and fruits.
  • Avoid fatty foods (fried foods, cream sauces) before activity —
    they slow digestion and prevent the body from accessing the
    energy it needs quickly.
  • Refuel after exercise with a balance of carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and moderate amounts of fat.
  • Snack as you need (think fresh, less-processed foods).
  • Sleep — don’t neglect to rest your body!

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