by Susan Lacke from Fit Bottomed Girls
What you eat before heading out the door to ride can make or break your workout. Starting a workout on an empty stomach can mean an express trip to Bonkville; eating too much can cause a mid-ride visit to –ahem – fertilize your neighbor’s rose garden.
So what’s a girl to do? Believe it or not, planning a pre-workout meal and snack isn’t as hard as many people would think. There are three key elements to consider when preparing sustenance before a sweat session:
If you have a time to eat a proper meal or snack before your workout, eat at least two hours beforehand, to allow your body to break down the food. In this meal, shoot for 400-600 calories.
Even if you’re pressed for time – say, you wake up minutes before an early-morning run – try to eat 100 to 200 calories (a gel packet, for example, or a few dates) with a healthy gulp of water 15-30 minutes before heading out the door, to top off your reserves.
By Caitlin Boyle of HealthyTippingPoint.com
During my last metric century, I ate an incredible amount of food: a few granola bars, juice, a handful of M&Ms, and as many donuts as I could cram in my mouth. I’d never seen an aid station offer glazed donuts before and snapped them up. All those simple carbohydrates provided me with the energy that I needed to cross the finish line, but by the end of the race, I felt rather depleted and yucky.
On one hand, fueling for endurance events is all about quantity – you need enough calories to sustain your activity. But to do your very best, you need quality, too. Donuts are delicious, but they’re not the most wholesome choice! And you’ll need to complement your food with a steady supply of fluids. If you’re exercising in hot weather or for longer than an hour, you may want to consider a drink with electrolytes (such as potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium), which will aid in hydration and muscle recovery.
Since that donut-laden ride, I’ve been seeking more natural fueling and hydration options. Whole, unprocessed foods are ideal, but the snacks also must be easy to carry and eat while on a bike.
Here are some of my favorite on-the-go selections for healthy, wholesome fuel and hydration: Continue reading