Fuel your workout with 3 nutrition tips that promote energy and build muscle

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Looking for nutrition tips to fuel your workout? Feel fatigued and lack the stamina and energy you desire for your exercise training? Try these three tips to optimize your workout.

Fuel your workout

How to fuel your workout

Poor nutrition and inadequate hydration decrease your ability to complete a quality workout. Since you have already devoted the time to exercise, try these three nutrition tips to fuel your workout.

Tip #1: Eat breakfast

Ironically, what you eat for breakfast affects your ability to exercise even nine hours later during an afternoon or evening workout. Since food is fuel, eating a nutritious breakfast provides you a strong start to the day.

One study demonstrated that exercisers who ate breakfast and then a light snack before a workout were able to workout 20% harder during a one-hour exercise test compared to those who did not. Invite science to the table and eat breakfast to fuel your workout!

One of my clients said, "I don't have time to eat breakfast." We timed how long it took her to drink a glass of low-fat milk or a 1/2 cup of orange juice-less than 1 minute. If you have never been a breakfast eater, drinking a nutritious drink, such as milk, juice, or a smoothie is an easy way to introduce your body to breakfast.

Ideally, fill your plate with three of the five food groups for breakfast: fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy or dairy substitute, and grains.

Try these quick healthy breakfast ideas

Tip #2: Add protein to your lunch

Not only is protein critical for helping build and repair muscles, but it will also help you feel fuller, longer. For lunch, add some garbanzo beans and walnuts to your salad or add chicken to your pasta dish to provide sustained energy for your workout later. Add protein-rich foods to fuel your workout such as the following:

Foods with protein:

Tip #3: Drink water, drink water, drink water

One of the first signs of dehydration is sluggishness and lack of energy. Depending on how much you sweat, the intensity of your exercise session, and the climate you live in, you should drink two to three 3 liters of water each day.

By eating breakfast, adding protein to lunch, and drinking plenty of water, you can not only fuel your workout, but you will also develop healthy eating habits for life.

Reviewed and updated on February 18, 2021 by Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES

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Alcohol & Other Beverages->Water Exercise->Fueling for Exercise Meal Planning & Diets->Breakfast
Feb 19, 2021
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

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