How to Fuel Your Workout – Cardio
What should I sip during spin class? Do I need protein before a long run?
Cardio – If you are tackling aerobic exercise (hiking, biking, HIIT), when you eat is just as key as what you eat.
Fuel Up – Choose a pre-workout meal that is low in fat and sugar, moderate in protein and high in carbs, like a smoothie made with almond milk, banana and berries. Have it 60 to 90 minutes before your workout: The meal should be digested to provide fuel to the working muscles. The last thing you want on a treadmill is a full stomach. If your cardio session is less than an hour long, you don’t need to snack again during.
Recover From It – After your workout, your body has a 20 to 30 minute “metabolic window” when your muscles absorb nutrients most efficiently. It is important to replenish during this time frame so your body maintains its energy supply. Prioritize carbs and protein. A snack with this combination will help aid muscle recovery and reduce soreness. Opt for something small like a cup of chocolate milk as opposed to drinking sports drinks and zero-calorie beverages. Within an hour, you want protein and electrolytes; try a protein smoothie made with coconut water.