Hello and happy Monday! It’s so weird to be back at work after the whirlwind that was the Healthy Living Summit… I want to go back to Chicago!!
Throughout the day on Saturday, there were several sessions covering different topics in healthy living. There were two tracks, so you got to pick which of two sessions you wanted to go to at any time. The session that I walked away from with the most pratical information was the Fueling for Fitness session, hands down. There were two speakers, both Registered Dietitians – Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, LD, ACSM who blogs at Balanced Health and Nutrition and tweets @ScritchfieldRD and Heather Calcote, RD, who blogs at Dietician on the Run and tweets @heatherdcRD. They talked about everything from what to eat before, during, and after a workout, how to stay hydrated, some cutting edge research in the field, and disordered eating and eating disorders.
I took 7 pages of notes during the session – seven!! It was so interesting and full of so much information. Here’s a few key things I walked away with:
1.) Carbohydrates are the key “energy nutrients” and we should be eating 3-12 g/kg of body weight per day. They are the main fuel in exercise.
2.) Protein is the body tissue nutrient and is used for structure not energy. We should be eating 1-2 grams per kg of body weight per day of protein.
3.) Fat is the energy reserve nutrient. It protects our organs and is harder to digest – so we should eat low fat before/during/after runs so that we’re not making our bodies work extra to digest the fats.
4.) For weight maintenance, an athlete’s plate should be 1/3 starch, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 veggies. Fat should be 15-35% of your daily calories, and mostly unsaturated fat.
5.) Casual exercises are defined by people who workout 20-60 minutes a few times a week. They should eat a meal or snack 1-2 hours before a workout, drink water 15 minutes before, water during the workout, and a snack/meal within 1 hour after they are done working out.
6.) Endurance Athletes are people who are training for races (like me!). They workout 3-6 times a week for 40 minutes – several hours per session, and sometimes twice a day.
- Endurance Athletes should be eating high carb, moderate protein, and low fat + 16 oz of fluid 1-2 hours before a workout.
- 15 minutes before the workout they should have 1 cup of water or sports drink. Some ideas are fresh/dried/frozen fruit, low fiber carbs (think white bread!), oatmeal, fig newtons, peanut butter crackers. NOT dairy or too much juice (GI Issues)
- 2-4 oz of liquid every 20 minutes during the workout (water or sports drink)
- Recovery nutrition as soon as tolerated after the workout, and then a meal/snack within 1 hour of finishing including carbs + protein. Ideas are smoothies, drinkable yogurt, thick crust pizza, boiled salted potatoes, fruit, bagels with cheese or peanut butter, chocolate milk.
7.) Hydration – use the 30 minute rule. If your exercising for less than 30 minutes, you are good with water. If you are going for more than 30 minutes, use a sports drink (gatorade).
8.) Fueling on the Go – Carbs are the main source of glucose and our body has enough store for 60-75 minutes of exercise before you “Hit the Wall.” Fuel BEFORE you feel tired. After 60-75 minutes, you should have 100-250 calories, and then every hour. Some ideas are gels, gus, bars, candy, honey or agave. Honey packets (like the ones in restaurants/Starbucks) are easy to transport and a great source of sugar while on the go.
9.) Chocolate Milk – this is one of the best recovery snacks. It has the ideal combo of carbs and protein and beats out sports drink in refueling. It’s inexpensive + effective plus it tastes great. I’m definitely going to try this one!
Whew! I learned SO MUCH in this session, but I think the main things I will take away are that I don’t need to eat while working out unless I’m going for more than an hour, and to use sports drinks (like gatorade) if I’m going for more than 30 minutes, rather than just water. I currently only use water which might be part of the reason I’ve been having trouble towards the end of my workouts. Also, eating low fat before work outs is ideal so our body doesn’t have a hard time digesting the fuel. So much information that is new to me!
Are any of these things new to you, or did you know most of this information already?