Archive for May, 2010

Fuel for Exercise

Your body needs fuel for exercise, but eating a large meal right before working out can cause discomfort. Exercising muscles draws blood away from the stomach, slowing digestion and causing stomach upset. To avoid this, wait 1 hour to 4 hours after a meal before exercising. The larger the meal, the longer you should wait.

If you haven’t eaten in several hours, however, your fuel tank will be on empty. A small snack (such as yogurt , half a bagel, or a piece of fruit) eaten 30 minutes to 60 minutes exercise will boost flagging blood sugar levels without causing you nausea or indigestion.

Carbohydrate is your body’s preferred fuel, so include whole grains starchy vegetables, fruit, or non-fat or low-fat dairy products in meals and snacks eaten before workout. Liquid meals, such as milk and fruit smoothies, are also an option. Avoid high-fat foods, because they slow digestion. It’s important to drink enough water during exercise.