It’s no secret that nutrition is important. We’re told to eat our veggies and drink lots of water, but specific nutrition needs vary person to person. Each one of us requires a different nutrition approach based on factors including height, weight, age, gender, and goals (to name a few). However, everyday athletes have even more specific nutrition needs based on their high level of activity, and optimizing nutrition can help improve performance and overall wellness.
As an everyday athlete, there are three areas of nutrition that are crucial to fuel your body properly around a workout. These areas include hydration, pre-fuel, and recovery. Here are three simple tips to help boost your nutrition:
Hydration: Drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, then your goal is to drink 100 ounces of water per day. On days when you exercise, you need even more fluids: for every hour of activity, add 16-24 ounces of water to your daily needs. Drinking adequate water helps your body deliver nutrients to cells, keeps joints lubricated (which is very important for the everyday athlete), and regulates body temperature. Staying hydrated is the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to improve your nutrition starting today.
Pre-Fuel: When you show up to a workout, make sure you are fueled properly. If you haven’t eaten for 3+ hours prior to a workout, choose a high carb, low protein, low fat snack to consume about 30 minutes prior to the start of activity. The carbs in your snack will be quickly digested and your body will use them for energy throughout your workout. Some pre-fuel examples include crackers, fruit, or a low-protein, low-fat granola bar.
Recovery: Make sure to consume protein within 30-60 minutes after a workout. Why this timeframe? This is when our bodies most benefit from protein intake. Aiming for 10-30g of protein post-workout will help jumpstart the recovery process and will ensure that you are ready to work out again the next day. Protein after a workout may also help prevent injury in the long term. Some recovery snack examples include a protein shake, Greek yogurt, or a protein bar.
Keep in mind that nutrition is very personalized. These suggestions are meant to be helpful for most everyone, but if you have specific goals or needs, you may require more in depth nutrition suggestions.
If you are wanting to optimize your nutrition and learn how to eat healthy for life, I’m here for you. As a dietitian and health coach, I help people get healthy without unsustainable dieting or tracking calories. I am currently offering free initial nutrition sessions for new clients. Schedule your session here to learn more.