Nutrition for Exercise

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Hello again friends! Hope your week is treating you well! I’ve been so incredibly busy this week. There are some pretty big changes happening in my life these days. I was hoping to post another weekly training vlog for you, but honestly I haven’t been following my training plan. (Boo!) My husband had minor surgery last Thursday which has left us down a man in the family life. We’ve made due thanks to my mother-in-law. Thank goodness for her! With that being said, I hope to get back to some normalcy by next week.


Over the last few weeks I’ve been dealing with some nutritional struggles. This year has literally been a yo-yo of weight gain and weight loss due to the ups and downs of my training. I was on the downward trend early in the year and then injury left me packing on the pounds. It’s so easy for me to get used to the heavy calorie and carbohydrate intake that training requires but it’s SO hard to back off when my training slows down. Today’s post is more for me than for you really, but I thought we could all use a tip or two.  So, today I’m sharing some tips on fueling up for exercise and reminding myself that not all food is created equal.

Everyday Nutrition:


A healthy diet is THE most important thing to remember when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and fitness. Before you even begin exercising a healthy diet is a must to ensure you have the energy, vitamins, minerals and nutrients to support the demands of exercise.

Eat a balanced diet. This means going back to basics – Make half your grains whole (whole wheat), consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, choose lean meats or plants based proteins, consume no more than 3 cups of lean low-fat or fat-free dairy (yogurt, milk, and cheeses), and drink plenty of water.


What to eat before you workout:

You want to consume carbohydrate rich foods or grab a small snack of simple carbs. Carbs are the preferred fuel for muscles so it’s essential to include them pre-workout. Your goal is to top off fuel stores for your upcoming workout so, try to include a little bit of protein to help build, repair, and prevent soreness in muscles. Be sure to choose foods low in fat and fiber to aid in digestion. High fat foods can lead to upset stomachs and high fiber foods digest slowly preventing quick releasing energy for your workout.


2 (or more) hours before

      • Spaghetti with chicken and veggies
      • Peanut butter and jelly on toast with a side of fruit
      • A smoothie made with fruit and yogurt and a little bit of granola (or other grain) on the side
      • Chicken and low-fat cheese sandwich. Add a small side fruit and a sports drink like Nuun Hydration

30-60 minutes before

      • Sports drink or water
      • Sports gel or gummies, sport bar (low in protein and not sweetened or covered in chocolate)
      • Piece of fruit

What to eat during your workout:

During longer workouts (lasting longer than 60 min) you really want to focus on getting plenty of carbohydrates, fluids, and electrolytes. Your focus should be on consuming easy to digest carbohydrates maintain your energy but you also need to be sure to consume fluids early and often to replace fluid losses. Waiting to drink fluids can lead to early dehydration. Aim to drink 5-10oz every 15 minutes or drink to thirst if you feel you need more.


      • Fruits
      • bread with jam or honey
      • energy bars low-fat granola
      • Sport gels or gummies
      • Gatorade, Powerade, Nuun, etc.

What to eat after:

After an intense workout you need to replenish fluids and electrolytes lost from sweat as well as replace muscle fuels (carbohydrates). Consume protein to help repair, build new, and prevent soreness in muscles. Try to eat a snack within the hour right after exercise. Optimally you should eat a snack 15-60 minutes after exercise then a meal within the first 2 hours. In order to rehydrate, aim for 17-24oz of fluid for every pound lost during exercise.



      • Fluids: Gatorade, Powerade, Phenoh 7.4, chocolate milk, etc
      • Snacks: smoothie, peanut butter crackers, fruit, granola bar, or cereal
      • Meals: whole wheat pita sandwich, brown rice bowl with beans, veggies, and cheese

Nutrition is essential to everyday lives but in order to ensure our best performance we must always be sure we’re fueling properly. what are you favorite pre or post workout snacks? Share in the comments below!

Happy Running!

Priscilla Askew, NDTR

Hi I’m Priscilla! Nutritionist, USA triathlon & RRCA run coach, fitness enthusiast, foodie, and owner of Askew Nutrition & Fitness.

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