By Ali Washington, Registered Holistic Nutritionist
It’s August – everyone is in the mood to move! Maybe you’re even training for Lululemon’s SeaWheeze! Cyclists, runners, joggers, walkers and crawlers fill the streets, and if they know what is good for them, they are getting their booties to yoga to stretch out well worn muscles. All the activity is amazing, but it is important to fuel your body properly to support high levels of activity as well as quick recovery. I will be covering the topic of fitness and nutrition over the month in more detail, but for today I want to give you a few quick tips to keep your body happy whilst you are moving it!
When you are active, your body uses and loses water at an accelerated rate: through sweating and an increased demand for cellular hydration, you need to drink more fluids! Becoming dehydrated is easy in the summer heat especially when you are exercising. If you want to be dedicated to your hydration, you can weigh yourself before and after your chosen activity, and drink enough water to counter the weight loss that occurs. If being that precise is not your style, just make sure you drink a few glasses of water before your activity, a little during if it is possible, and get another few glasses afterwards. Staying hydrated throughout the day will help protect you from the dangers of dehydration.
2. Quick Carbs For Immediate Energy:
During long workouts, you need to refuel during your activity. It is best to reach for whole food sources of simple carbohydrates. Note what I said about WHOLE FOODS! It can be tempting to reach for those sports gels or candies. I encourage you to pick real food like dates, bananas, or honey. That way you are not taking in highly processed, highly refined foods, as well as chemical additives and preservatives. These sorts of food provide a quick release of glucose into your blood – glucose is the single source of energy usable by your body and will ensure you have the fuel you need to carry you through your workouts.
3. Slow carbs for Sustained Energy:
After you have some of those quick burning carbs in your system, it is good to have a store of glycogen to give your workouts some staying power. Glycogen is the stored version of glucose your body uses when it needs to top up your blood sugar levels. These “slow” carbohydrates come from things like quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice and sprouted grain breads. Consume these foods at least an hour before your work out to avoid having a lot of food in your gut. Eating too soon before intense activity can cause you to cramp or get sick!
4. Re-fuel with Protein:
After you have done your workout, one of the best things you can do for yourself is get a good source of protein mixed with carbohydrates. Some good choices are a protein smoothie (like Vega or Sun Warrior) with some fruit, some whole oats cooked with almond milk, or some hummus and veggies! A protein-rich meal will help you recover and rebuild the muscle fibers you strained in your workout, and the carbohydrates will replenish your glycogen stores.
Being fit is fun! Fueling yourself properly for your workouts can make it all the more amazing.
Want to know more? Visit Ali at Semperviva Sun and Lifestyle Studios, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org