Eating Smart For Your Workout

Lunch-hour or after-work crunches

Split your lunch: eat half a few hours before the workout and finish the rest when you get back to your desk. If you exercise after work, say about 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m., plan a minimeal – perhaps a small bowl of cereal, a piece of whole-grain bread with just a dab of PB&J, or a cup of lowfat yogurt at 3:00 or 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon.

When you’re doing extra exercise – a charity bike ride or a minimarathon fun run, or a long hike, for example – and stay at it for more than an hour, you need to refuel during the event. The human body can store only about an hour’s worth of carbohydrate; it’s in the muscles in the form of glycogen. (See Chapter 8 for further explanation of metabolism.) So if you want to finish the race without dragging yourself over the finish line, you need to eat or drink some form of carbohydrate. A sports drink is one option. A small energy bar works, too.

After an especially long workout, you need to refuel to restore your energy. A small high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, and lowfat meal is best. Reach for fruit, lowfat yogurt, whole-wheat crackers, or bread.

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