Everybody needs a variety of foods to stay healthy. When you work out or play sports, it’s even more important to get good nutrition and enough calories — what you eat (and when you eat it) affects how you feel and how you perform.
Always give your body some kind of energy source. In general:
- Eat breakfast. If you’re working out within an hour after a meal, keep it light.
- Fruits and veggies are great low-fat choices for pre-exercise meals.
Fresh fruits like blueberries are rich in carbs and antioxidants like vitamin C, which helps combat damaging free radicals generated by your metabolism during exercise.
Veggies like sweet potatoes are delicious hot or cold, and rich in vitamins and minerals, too. Sweet potatoes’ low glycemic index means your body absorbs their nutrients slowly, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels and deliver sustained energy throughout your workout.
Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale deliver iron to metabolize energy and calcium to support muscle performance.
- Keep your own healthy snacks ready to go: yogurt, dried fruits (like raisins, cherries and cranberries), nuts and seeds (like almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds), low-fat cheese and whole grain crackers; washed & cut up broccoli, cauliflower or carrots with peanut butter or hummus dip.
- Choose organic foods to avoid unwanted chemicals and ensure you’re fueling your body with pure, healthy nutrition.
When it comes to eating and exercise, everyone is different. Listen to your body to learn what works for you!