Health & Food

Fueling For Your Workout

Hello everyone! I hope you all had great long weekends (I’m jealous of those of you who didn’t work yesterday, but I guess I’m happy for you!).

Updates since last time
– Nick and I began to look at houses this weekend. I am still not full time, therefore it’s going to be tough to find a house we both love, within our price range, but so far we’re happy with our possibilities!

– I made some fun new foods over the weekend, which I’ll be sharing with you in the coming weeks. Get excited

Random Nutrition and Health Tidbit
Pre-workout meal/snack

  • Caffeine has a potentially helpful effect, if consumed in moderation (1-2 cups) before a workout. Personally, I consume 2 cups of coffee before my morning workout! This ends up being about 100 mg caffeine (I use half decaf, half regular). Remember, it takes 30 minutes for caffeine to kick 2
  • Do you workout early in the morning? Consume something small to get your blood sugar levels up. Even an apple, a small glass of OJ, an orange, or a pomegranate would be fine. Other options include a small yogurt, half a banana, or half of a snack bar (Ex: Soyjoy, Mojo, Nature Valley).pomegranatepomegranate 1
  • Do you workout in the afternoon? Eat larger meals when you have at least 4 hours before workout. Use this time to incorporate some fat and fiber into your diet. Fat and fiber are both necessary in the diet, but are meal components that you don’t want to eat right before a workout. So when you have plenty of time before your workout, focus on whole grains and healthy fats (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds)

The meal below has whole grain rice, and about 3 ounces of high fiber/protein tofu! Tofu is also rich in healthy fats.healthy fats

  • Eat smaller, but substantial meals/snacks when you have 2-3 hours before a workout. During this meal, or large snack, you can incorporate fiber and fat, but some people may be able to handle more than others. For example; I can easily consume a spoon full of peanut butter with some oats an hour or so before a workout, but that’s because I know my body metabolizes food very fast, and it won’t be sitting in my stomach still when I work out. Sometimes you just need to practice some eating strategies in order to fully understand what you can and cannot handle before a workout.
  • Your pre-workout meal also depends on the type of workout. For example; on days that I work my arms, I can eat just about anything before I workout, as I am not doing much bouncing up and down. On days that I do the elliptical, I can still handle a good amount of food prior to my workout, but on days that I am running on the treadmill (bouncing up and down) I can’t eat much before I workout.
  • Be sure to remain hydrated throughout the day. The basic recommendation is to consume the amount of ounces as your body weight (in pounds) divided by two.
  • Electrolytes from sports drinks may be necessary if a) you workout longer than 90 minutes b) you are a heavy sweater, or c) you are working out in hot and humid conditions.
  • Vegetarian? Here is a great article for vegetarian athletes, from Today’s Dietitian Magazine.
  • Running a marathon? Some of the rules above can apply, but the general recommendation is to practice your diet regimen several times before you race. Get to know which foods are likely to cause trouble, and which foods are likely to help you. In general I’ve found that you should consume about 8-9 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight (there are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate) during the 24-48 hours before the race.

Question: If I were to do another post on workout meals, what else would you like to know? What are some of your favorite pre-workout meals/snacks?

New Eats
What should you do when you don’t like a product that you purchased? Throw it away? Nope! Make something with it, that does taste good! I really didn’t like this multi grain hot cereal from Hodgson Mill, but there was a recipe on the back of the box for “Fiber Muffins”, which I thought sounded pretty gross, but worth a try. Couldn’t they have come up with a better name??

The recipe is here. I modified it in many ways, since I didn’t have some of the ingredients it called for, and because I’m obsessed with modifying recipes.

Whole wheat flour instead of white flour

2 T almond butter instead of 1 cup shredded carrots and 1 cup apples
(I didn’t have carrots, and I didn’t want to waste any apples!)

1/2 cup soy milk instead of 2% milk/skim

1/4 cup Smart Balance oil instead of regular vegetable oil (more ALA fats!)

They were so good, I had to have a bite right away…..muffinsThis gives you an idea of how big the muffins were (not very).muffins 1

The original yield on the recipe was 12 muffins, which would have been 275 calories each. I decided to double my yield, and divide those calories in half. I made 23 muffins.

275 calories vs. 145 calories
See the difference in size? I’m much more likely to eat the smaller muffin as a snack, heated up with some butter on top.muffins 2

2 grams fiber
7 grams fat
~217 mg Omega-3 (Essential Omega-3, ALA)

Coming Up
Stay tuned for my next post, which will include a new dinner for my 2010 cookbook, and of course my Biggest Loser Review! I have also received some specific requests for different topics, including my thoughts on the Raw Food Diet. Any requests I receive I will eventually get to, but maybe not right away. It’s all coming!
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

About author


Hi, my name is Rebecca Houston and I am a writer. I write about health, healthy food and daily meal plan for various websites.
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