Pairing food with exercise

Courtesy of: The Ontario Kinesiology Association Apple

Pairing the right food with your workout will increase endurance, energy and strength according to a summary of nutrition research by experts from the Ontario Kinesiology Association (OKA).

“Many people know about the health benefits associated with a good exercise routine and good nutrition,” said Scott Tate, OKA board member. “But what many people don’t realize are the added benefits that eating the right kinds of food at the right time can have on the effectiveness of their workout.”

Cardio carb snack pairing: bananas, raisins, sprouted buckwheat, whole grain cereal bars, fruit, dairy/non dairy drink-based smoothies, gel or liquid based energy drinks are designed for pre or post workout fueling.

Strength training pre-workout snack pairing: energy bars, half a turkey sandwich, hard boiled eggs and apple, fruit and yogurt

Post workout snacks include: 45 g of cheese and whole wheat crackers, Trail Mix, peanut or almond butter sandwich and egg whites on toast

Cardio workouts are intended to burn calories and build endurance.  They are generally less intense, over longer time periods. Types include jogging, aerobics, swimming and cycling.

Eating to maximize your cardio workout:

  • Eat within one hour before and after working out
  • Exercising before a body has time to digest can lead to low body sugar, weakness or nausea
  • Eat food rich with carbohydrates (100-200 calories) to reduce the risk of low sugar levels
  • Avoid food high in fat or protein, which slow down digestion

Strength training is intended to build muscle and endurance. Workouts are usually more intense at shorter time intervals.

Eating to maximize your strength training:

  • Eat within one hour before and after working out
  • Eat food rich with simple carbs and protein (200-250 calories) –  6 g of protein before and 10-20 g after the workout

Hydration, fuel and especially carb intake, are important for both cardio and endurance. Before beginning a new exercise regime, people should consult with their doctor and a Certified Kinesiologist to design a program that is right for them

About the Ontario Kinesiology Association (OKA)

The Ontario Kinesiology Association is the professional association which provides certification for Kinesiologists, helps uphold professional standards in the field, offers continuing education, and promotes public awareness of the science of kinesiology.

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