Foods & Fluids for Athletes

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Foods & Fluids for Athletes

Pre Workout Foods & Fluids

At least 2-3 hours before a workout, you should drink 16-20 oz of fluid. This will allow you to start exercise in a already hydrated state. Carbohydrate is the body's main source of fuel. Without it you will experience muscle fatigue, and will not be able to perform at a high intensity. Try to get .45 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight 2-3 hours before exercise. For a 120 pound woman, this would be 50 grams. Some examples of snacks with 50 grams of carbohydrate are: 1 1/2 cups tomato soup, 1 cup cranberry juice, 4 1/2 oz of fruit flavored fat-free yogurt.

During Workout Foods & Fluids

Weighing yourself before and after a workout will determine your sweat rate. If you lose weight during your workout, drink more next time. If you gain weight, drink less. Remember that sweat is more than just water. Sodium is the main electrolyte lost in sweat. A lightly flavored electrolyte drink can replace the fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat.

Post Workout Foods & Fluids

Replacing the fluids lost from your workout will help you prepare for the next day's workout. You will feel better and recover more rapidly. The sweat lost during exercise represents fluid loss not fat loss. For every pound of weight lost, you should drink 20 oz of fluid. Individuals who are focused on tissue repair and looking to gain muscle, should consume approximately 20-30 grams of protein shortly after exercise.


Coleman E. Carbohydrate and Exercise. In Rosenbloom CA and Coleman E. eds. Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals 5th Ed. 2012, in press.

Peronnet F. Healthy hydration for physical activity. Nutrition Today; 2010;45(6S):S41-S44.

Phillips, S. & Van Loon, L. (2011), Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. Journals of Sport Sciences, 24 Suppl. 1, S29-38.

Read 2091 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 March 2014 17:56

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