Eating & Drinking during Exercise – 5 Tips for Your Workouts

Exercise can help you control your weight, relieve stress, and sleep better. However, when you exert that much energy, it is only natural to want something to eat and drink to replenish it. Sometimes, it is a good idea to have a snack or beverage during your workout. 

If you go on a long hike or bike ride, you will certainly want to take some snacks and water. There may even be times when you need a snack simply when working out in a gym.

Can You Eat During a Workout?

Whether or not It is a good idea to eat during a workout depends on what you are doing. If you only exercise in a gym for an hour after work, you will not need food or water. But it doesn’t hurt to take a bottle of water to sip on if you feel dehydrated. 

How much water a person needs is based somewhat on genetics. It depends on your body weight and how much you sweat. However, the American College of Sports Medicine says that a person should drink a couple of cups of water before exercising. You should also drink about half a cup of water every 20 minutes when working out.

If you work out for longer than an hour and a half and your workout is very intense, it will help if you eat carbohydrates of some kind. Carbs give a person stamina and will allow them to work out for a longer period. Here are a few tips about what you should eat to improve your workout.

Have a Sports Drink

Sports drinks are fruity and refreshing, and it can be very tempting to drink one after you have been working out. You have probably heard that they have potassium and replace important nutrients when you have been sweating a lot.

 Potassium is important when working out because it lowers acidity levels in your stomach and makes exercising more comfortable. Sports drinks also have electrolytes that allow for an electric voltage along the membranes of cells.

 Although they have plenty of potassium, many store-bought sports drinks are loaded with sugar.

Homemade sports drinks are a great alternative to the kind you’ll find at the supermarket and you can customize your sports drink to your tastes and nutritional needs. You can knock out a cold with a citrus-based drink or get your vitamins with a watermelon-based drink. 

Do Not Eat Fiber During a Workout

Fiber is a very important part of a person’s diet because it helps your digestive system run smoothly. However, you should not consume high-fiber foods during a workout. If you do, you may experience gut problems while exercising. It will certainly make you have to go to the bathroom more often. This is not something you want to have to deal with in the middle of a workout, especially if you are playing competitive sports. Broccoli and celery are delicious and good for you. However, they will be more beneficial if you enjoy them after the gym.

You should always eat foods that are low in fat during a workout because your body is slow to digest fats. It is best to avoid anything too spicy when you work out as well. 

3. Stick to Simple Snacks

It is best to stick to simple flavors when working out. Have a plain peanut butter sandwich or a banana instead of a sandwich with many ingredients. A bite or two of a protein bar is also a good idea. Yogurt is also a good option during a workout. It is easy to digest and comes in a wide variety of flavors. Granola bars are low in fat and high in protein, so they are satisfying without being too filling.

You can get flavored carbohydrate gels that will give you quick energy if you do not feel like interrupting your workout to eat. 

4. Eat Well Between Workouts

Whether you are working out to look better, feel better, or live longer, the foods you eat in between workouts will affect your fitness goals. You will have better results from your workouts if you eat healthily all of the time.

Always eat a good breakfast, and you should finish it at least an hour before you exercise. Eating will help raise your blood sugar, and that will give you more energy to work out. However, it does not happen instantly, it will take a little while for your blood sugar to go up. 

It is best to carb up during breakfast. Most dietitians say whole grain toast or whole grain cereal, along with a piece of fruit, makes the most nutritious breakfast. Black coffee will give you energy throughout the day, and it is best to avoid putting too much cream and sugar in your coffee. They are both hard to digest and contain calories that your body will not use.

If you exercise later in the day, you should remember not to eat a large meal too soon before working out. If you are going to eat a large meal, you should wait a few hours before hitting the gym. It is best to eat a small snack about an hour before beginning your workout. 

It’s also better to eat right after exercise because nourishment will help your muscles to repair. Pasta and other carbohydrates make excellent meals after a workout.

5. Avoid Alcohol and Soda

Realistically, most people are going to drink alcohol and soda occasionally. However, drinking alcohol or soda regularly can seriously damage your health. When you drink alcohol, you will slow down your body’s ability to turn food into energy.

You will not be able to perform aerobic exercise as easily after you drink because alcohol reduces blood sugar and carbohydrates in the body. It is a depressant that will slow down the body’s reactions and reduce your hand-to-eye coordination, which will affect your ability to perform competitive sports.

When you exercise, the muscles in your body burn sugar, creating lactic acid. Alcohol also increases lactic acid. If you have too much lactic acid in your body, you will get muscle cramps. It can also make it harder to recover after an injury. 

If you sprain a wrist or ankle while working out, you might normally have to avoid using it for a couple of days. If you are a heavy drinker, it might take closer to a week to heal.  

Soda is loaded with sugar, and drinking it every day can cause diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and gout. If you have any of these problems, you will certainly be unable to work out.

There are so many benefits to exercising. It can help you get a better night’s sleep and help you concentrate when you are awake. It will lift your spirits and give you a better outlook on life. Eating well will increase the positive effects of exercise, so eat right when you work out.

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