Whether you’re running 42.195km or joining in a mass fitness pop-up, our expert offers tips on the best foods to fuel up your exercise.
If you’re a marathoner, you would already have a stash of raisins and energy gels to keep fuelled during the long run. Or maybe you and your girlfriends prefer to have some fun participating in an afternoon of mass exercise (like our Shape Yoga 2015 and Shape Active 2015!) Either way, you need to know when and what to eat to properly fuel your workouts.
What to eat when you are working out. (Photo: warrengoldswain / www.123rf.com)
What you should be eating during your sports training or exercise depends on how long your training is.
During longer workout sessions, you need to replenish with carbohydrates to fuel your workouts, says Bibi Chia, principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, Raffles Medical Group. (Similarly, you need to eat right before your workouts.)
The best foods for sports training or exercise that lasts LESS than an hour
Drink about half to one cup of water (118ml to 237ml) every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. For short training sessions or workouts, there is no need to eat anything else.
If the weather is particularly hot or humid, or if your body size is larger, you need to hydrate more often as your body loses large amounts of water during exercise. You don’t want to risk getting dehydrated! (Warning: If you experience palpitations and dizzy spells, it could indicate severe dehydration.)
The best foods for sports training or exercise that lasts MORE than an hour
Replace fluid loss and glycogen by taking isotonic drinks.
For longer training sessions, do consume about 25g of carbohydrates per 30 minutes. Carbohydrates provide an immediate fuel source to boost performance and recovery and reduce cortisol levels. This may include bananas, raisins, sports drinks, energy bars and gels or other quickly digested sources.
Taking in protein during your training session also helps to prevent muscle breakdown leading to improved recovery and greater adaptation to long-term training. Plus, it helps in gain muscle mass and endurance for longer, intense training bouts.
This article was written by Stella Phua and first appeared in Raffles Healthnews. It has been adapted for www.shape.com.sg.