By United Supermarkets’ Registered Dietitians Lifestyle Desk
Three fundamentals to follow in endurance or strength-focused sports are to stay hydrated, fuel up your muscles, and aim for a healthy recovery. Let’s look at some tips to help stay on track.
First, plan things out. Planning an exercise routine is important but what about your meals? The last thing you want is to experience fatigue or dizziness, grab fast food high in fat and drink a protein shake that doesn’t contain all the proper balance your body needs.
Plan ahead by purchasing a journal, an online document, or buying a white board that will allow you the space to plan your meals, snacks, and goals to help you build your ideal roadmap to success. If you’re tech savvy, there’s even apps for this!
Next, you have to stay hydrated. Fluid and electrolyte balance are critical to prevent dehydration because of the amount of sweat that is lost, especially during hot summer days. Current recommendations say you should drink 5-10 milliliters of water per pound of body weight before a workout. During the workout, you should replenish with water and electrolytes every 15-20 minutes. When workout is over, replace fluids lost with 16-24 ounces of water for every pound lost during exercise and drink a beverage rich in electrolytes, such as coconut water.
Lastly, you have to eat right. Think of your meals like fueling a car. If you don’t put gas in the tank your car won’t run efficiently, or at all. Much like the car analogy, our bodies need fuel in order to simply exist as well as perform at a higher level.
It is recommended that meals are eaten 4 hours prior to playing and snacks about 30 minutes to 1 hour before. Snacks are generally focused on moderate carbohydrates and low protein and fiber during exercise, particularly for endurance-focused sports. For strength training, snacks higher in quality carbohydrates are important due to continuous bouts of energy being used.
A snack within 30 minutes after a game or exercise and a meal within 2 hours are optimum times for the body to restore stored glucose and repair and grow new muscle. Simple endurance and strength-focused snack examples include granola bars low in sugar, crackers low in fat, fruit, and dry whole grain cereal.
On top of that, eating a balanced diet can help aid in a faster recovery when injured! Focus on quality protein like fish and lean meats, foods rich in vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, whole wheat and whole grain carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats.
Here’s an excellent breakfast to have 1-2 hours prior to your exercise, or just kickstart your morning!
Blueberry Walnut Overnight Oats
What You Need
1/3 c. Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 c. ultrafiltered skim milk
1/2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 c. Blueberries
1/8 c. Walnuts
How It’s Made
1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe jar
2. Tightly screw on the lid and shake
3. Place in the fridge overnight (and up to 3 days if you want to make life more streamlined)
4. Enjoy the next morning cold or hot