From protein to carbs, learn how to boost your workouts by fueling your body the way professional athletes do.
Even if you never compete in the Olympics or the Major Leagues, you can still maximize your workouts by fueling your body the right way. This will not only give you more energy during exercise and improve your performance, but also help you feel better throughout the day.
These four tips will help supercharge your body for your next workout on the treadmill, the track, or the stairs at work.
Hydrate the Right Way:
Most people sweat during exercise. How much depends on the intensity of the workout, the environment, and even the athlete’s genes. Drinking enough fluids before, during, and after exercise will keep you from becoming dehydrated.
“The best way to determine hydration needs for all athletes is to monitor body weight changes from before to after exercise,” says Kimberly Stein, PhD., a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).
Weigh yourself before and after your workouts. If you’ve lost weight, the next time you exercise make sure to drink an additional 16 ounces of fluids for each pound lost. If you gained weight, you may be able to cut back a little on fluids.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests that you start drinking fluids at least four hours before your workout. That can reduce the need to guzzle water while exercising, which can upset your stomach.
Sports outlets sell a wide variety of sports drinks that include ingredients such as fast-acting sugars and electrolytes like potassium and sodium. For moderate exercisers, however, sometimes simple is best.
“For most fitness athletes, drinking water is fine,” says Stein. “If they have a high sweat rate, notice salt on their skin and clothes after a workout, or have any cramping issues, they may consider a beverage with sodium.”