Exercise Nutrition: how to eat while exercising

February 1, 2010

Diet Foods, Diets & Nutrition

Concerning the exercise diet the following questions might come up: What should be eaten before you exercise? When’s the best time to eat? How much should be eaten? Should you eat while exercising? What can be eaten between series of effort? Studies show that you should always fill your glycogen reserves, so you can go in with a full tank of gas. You have to have a good balanced exercise nutrition.

This is very important when competing in a resistance sport. You can increase you glycogen reserves by increasing your carbohydrate intake while keeping your energy intake constant.

Eat small helpings of protein rich foods such as meat, fish or eggs. Your fat intake should be minimum in this period(60-70% of your energy should come from carbohydrates) so in the day of the competition you should find your body filled with energy.


The best workout food would consist of cereal, whole bread toast, fruit juice, fruit, digestive biscuits, boiled barley, potatoes, dried fruit etc. Because of stress many competitors prefer not to eat on the day of a competition. This decision is wrong, because it reduces glycogen levels which can negatively affect you in the final stages of any competition that lasts over an hour and a half.

If you can’t eat solids try liquids like fruit juice or commercialized sport drinks. Studies have proven that ingesting a small quantity of fast absorbing carbohydrates (1.7 ounces) before a competition helps put of fatigue and builds up resistance.

Some are more sensitive than others to sugar level fluctuations, so the last minute snack may not be an option to then thus in game snaking might help them put of fatigue and also help maintain their effort intensity if the competition lasts for more than an hour.

After each competition or training session the athlete’s glycogen levels are diminished. Quickly refilling the glycogen reserves is very important for and athlete with more than one race/trial/event in the same competition. Studies show that by eating some carbohydrates with a high glycemic index and 1.4 ounces of protein within the first 2 hours after effort really cuts down the recovery time.

It looks like the muscles are more receptive and capable to retain carbohydrates especially within the first 2 hours after any effort. So, an athlete’s diet is an essential factor which directly affects his performance, and needs to be custom built for each type of activity. That is why you should build your own custom exercise nutrition plan.

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