Developed in partnership with the Spring into Change Challenge, sponsored by the makers of Vitafusion, the #1 gummy vitamin brand.
We talked to sports dietitian and health expert Rebecca Scritchfield about the most enjoyable ways to fulfill your nutrient needs when you’re spinning 3-4 times per week. Follow these tips on what to eat before and after a workout to fuel up the right way.
- Don’t ride on “empty”: If you think you perform better on an empty stomach, think again. I’m forever amazed at how many people “exercise to eat” rather than “eat to exercise”. Pre-exercise fuel should hydrate your body, fuel your muscles and settle your stomach. Choose foods with high carbohydrates and moderate protein that are lower in fat and fiber. Try this: a bagel with a dollop of nut butter or a yogurt and granola parfait with banana or berries.
- Start off on the right foot: Have a hard time waking up for your morning ride? Before you go to bed, place a piece of whole fruit—like a banana, apple or pear—and an English muffin topped with almond butter on your nightstand. Set it beside some great-tasting Vitafusion MultiVites for a wake-up call that will feel more delicious than dreaded.
- Put Omega-3s on the menu: When you think about protein, consider if it also contains omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats), which may alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation and improve joint health. These healthy fats can be eaten anytime of day. My favorite options include tuna, salmon, anchovies and lamb.
- Choose healthy on-the-go options: There are lots of on-the-go fitness bars out there, but not all are healthy. Always look at the nutrition label before making your selection, and choose something with wholesome ingredients like nuts, dried fruit and honey, which give athletes the energy they need. You can also try my 2-Minute Peanut Butter Rice Squares, which have just three ingredients and require no refrigeration– just prep and go!
- Get your “nutrient C”: Usually with endurance athletes, the nutrient most lacking is carbohydrates. I’m constantly asking my athletes to increase “nutrient C”. Eating too much high-protein and high-fat food shortly before exercise can cause an upset stomach and delay glycogen uptake in your muscles. Healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, keep your body going. Pre-fuel 60-90 minutes before a workout and refuel within 60 minutes of exercising. Try a recovery bowl with two scrambled eggs, vegetables, half an avocado and brown rice or beans.
-Compiled by Leslie Steinberg