Health Canada recommends that we aim for 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity each week. Often the question that follows after hearing this statement is what am I supposed to eat to get the most out of my workout. Eating a balanced diet according to Canada’s Food Guide is a good first step to ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients to perform at your best.
If your activity is more of a hobby then Canada’s Food Guide will fuel you sufficiently but if your activity is more intense than you may need more carbohydrate, fat and protein. According to Dietitians of Canada carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel during exercise. A diet high in carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole grain products, vegetables, fruits and legumes can help you exercise longer, perform better and be faster. If you exercise intensely for more than an hour follow Canada’s Food Guide and choose a few extra carbohydrate-rich servings throughout the day before exercising.
Many people think they need more protein during exercise, but usually this is not the case. Following Canada’s Food Guide will help to meet your protein needs. You may need more protein if you exercise intensely or for long sessions (90 minutes or more) many days of the week. You can get more protein by having a few extra servings from the Milk and Alternative and Meat and Alternative food groups throughout the day. Protein supplements can be expensive and do not have any benefits over a balanced diet.
After exercising a snack consisting of a protein and carbohydrate eaten within 30 minutes of exercise will help to store energy again and repair and build muscles.
For more detailed information on sports nutrition check out the following links:
For a more personalized nutrition care plan tailored around your workout book an appointment with your dietitian.
Have a healthy, active and fun summer!!