How eating and drinking play a role in fitness

Cork, Ireland

What you eat and when you eat it are important factors in any fitness program.  Before you exercise, eat carbs.

Researchers say quality carbs, like yogurt, bananas, pasta or peanut butter can improve endurance and performance.

If you’re having a large meal, have it three to four hours before your workout.  Eating too much before you exercise can make you sluggish.

Smaller meals or snacks can be consumed one-to-three hours ahead, but make sure you leave at least an hour for food to digest.

It’s also important to drink plenty of water, two to three cups in the hours ahead of your workout and while you are exercising, you should be consuming half- to one-cup of water every 15-to-20 minutes.

If you are working out for more than an hour, you might want to use a sports drink to help maintain your body’s electrolyte balance.

Once you’re done, the mayo clinic recommends you drink two-to-three cups of water to replace fluids you lost while exercising.

Within two hours of your workout, you should also eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein.

This will help your muscles recover and replace glycogen you used while working out.