Nutrition and Fluid Running

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What to eat. Every time you think you know the answer…. the answer changes, from high fat to low fat, from high carbs, to Keto to intermittent fasting! 

The Mystery of Nutrition

As confusing as it is, nutrition absolutely plays a role in our health, the way we feel, and how well we perform and recover from exercise.  There is no “one size fits all” answer, because we’re all different, with different genetics, body types, blood types, allergies, etc.  However, if we choose food that best fuels our bodies, that will likely include a lot of whole foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins.  We don’t often see water listed in a nutrition pyramid, but drinking plenty of water is a game-changer!

Nutrition Before Fluid Running

Proper nutrition, especially before Fluid Running can be tricky.   Eating too much or too close to your workout might result in some GI discomfort….sometimes a feeling of heartburn.  This is because the hydrostatic pressure pushes any undigested food upward (think tube of toothpaste).  A good rule of thumb is to not eat within an hour to an hour and a half of Fluid Running.  The time of day may also play a role.  Digestion slows as the day goes on so if you are planning an evening Fluid Run, you may want to allow even more time.   Easily digestible foods, like a banana, yogurt, or liquid foods like juice or a nutrition drink can be good pre- Fluid Run choices. Carbs are “fuel” for our bodies.   Still allow that hour!  

Nutrition After Fluid Running

The after part is a little easier.  First of all, hydrate first!  You can actually perspire quite a bit during a Fluid Running workout, not to mention that hydrostatic pressure has a diuretic effect on your kidneys.  You may feel really hungry after a Fluid Running workout…..and that may be because you are just really hungry!!  But, be sure to hydrate first.  Try to drink 12-16 ounces of water after your Fluid Running workout.  To properly restore glycogen levels and repair those muscles that you worked, a combination of good carbs and proteins is recommended. Studies show that consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) is ideal.  Toast with a nut butter, a veggie omelet, or a smoothie with protein powder are all good choices.  Many experts recommend eating within 45 minutes of your workout for ideal refueling.   If you have to drive home from your pool, it’s not a bad idea to keep a healthy nutrition bar in your car.  Not only will this quickly replenish some of what you burned during your workout, but it may also keep you from “raiding the fridge” as soon as you get home!  Not eating after a workout can result in lightheadedness, low blood sugar, and an inability to recover quickly and effectively from a workout.  You’ve taken the time to give yourself the gift of exercise.  Make sure you then choose to give yourself the gift of good nutrition! 

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