Centsable Health: Fueling your body during exercise
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Are you one of the many planning to peddle your way across the Hawkeye State in RAGBRAI? Experts say you need to be training now if you plan to take part in the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
Besides the physical workout, you need to be training with the proper food. Fareway Foods Registered Dietitian Whitney Packebush offered this advice in our latest Centsable Health segment.
If you're logging countless miles and hours endurance training, your body can't perform on sub-par nutrition. Endurance athletes have unique nutritional needs, and the foods they eat should meet three main goals:
Provide calories needed for exercise
Restore glycogen - the storage form of glucose that allows you to exercise tomorrow, too
Repair lean body mass to increase muscle size and strength
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel for endurance athletes, especially in the form of glycogen; therefore, it's important to consume a carbohydrate-rich diet, about 60-70% of total calories. To figure out your needs: Weight in pounds x 3.2 = grams of carbohydrates per day
Protein isn't easily utilized for energy, but it's vital for muscle growth and repair. It also helps keep hunger pangs at bay during exercise. Aim for 12 - 15% of total calories from protein. To figure your needs: Weight in pounds x 0.6 = grams of protein per day
Fat is vital for endurance athletes for three reasons: provide essential fatty acids, aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K) and meet energy needs. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties needed for recovering muscles. Fat should comprise about 30% of total calories, but the type of fat may be more important than how much. Look for unsaturated fatty acids like oils, nuts, fish and avocados.
Glycemic Index: measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a certain food. High glycemic foods cause blood sugars to rise very quickly, whereas low glycemic foods cause blood sugar levels to rise more slowly.
Peak performance starts before you even exercise. Pre-exercise meals should: Prevent hunger before or during exercise & maintain steady energy throughout exercise.
Meals three to four hours before exercise need to supply your body with energy from carbohydrates and also protein, which helps deliver slow and steady energy to the muscles.
Timing: 3 to 4 hours before exercise
Low glycemic index
New foods that are not well tolerated
1 egg burrito made with 1 egg + 2 egg whites, 1 ounce cheddar cheese, diced peppers and onions
1 medium banana
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
Approximate nutrition information: 619 calories; 17 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 91 g carbohydrate; 6.2 g fiber.
If there is an hour or less before you hop on a bike, solid foods may not work for you. If that's the case, aim for beverages that provide carbohydrates. If you need something a little more substantial to keep you full, fruits work wonders.
Timing: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Choose 1 - 1 small orange, peach, pear, or banana 1 cup watermelon 1 cup cantaloupe
Gatorade Prime™ Energy chews
Nature Valley granola bar
If you're exercising for more than 45 minutes continuously (ahem, RAGBRAI riders), you need to maintain energy and fluid balance. Say "hello" to sports drinks. Drink 7 to 10 ounces every 15 minutes for best results.
The ideal fluid replacer during exercise should have:
14-19 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces
50-170 mg sodium per 8 ounces
30-50 mg potassium per 8 ounces
No caffeine or carbonation
Drinks with more than 8% carbohydrates
Gatorade™ G series or G2. G2 is lower calorie hydration for lower intensity workouts with the same electrolytes as original Gatorade™.
Hydrate with 5 to 10 ounces of water or sports drink:
Less than 19 g carbohydrate per 8 ounces
30-50 mg potassium per 8 ounces
50 - 170 mg sodium per 8 ounces
Exercise recovery has two main goals: restore glycogen and restore/build lean body mass (a.k.a. muscle).
Timing: Eat a snack within 30 minutes
16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during exercise
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