Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? I actually had no idea. It seems like there’s a month for everything these days, but I digress.
National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the theme for 2017 is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” Whether you run, CrossFit, lift, dance, or do yoga, nutrition is still important. Even small changes add up to big results. Yesterday, Austin-based Medicine in Motion released some nutrition tips that can help.
- Eat a balanced diet. Medicine in Motion defines that as a balanced breakfast, carbs for fuel, and proteins and fats that are appropriate for your body type and fitness goals. I’d take that one step further and suggest healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, rice, and oatmeal. Protein ideally should come from lean sources like chicken breasts, fish, and lean cuts of meat, and healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil can be included.
- Fuel for your workout. If you work out first thing in the morning, a light breakfast can help with performance. If you’re an evening person, include complex carbs in your lunch. I usually have breakfast between 6 and 6:30 am, then hit the box at 8 am.
- Have a pre-workout snack. If you’re working out later in the day or doing something intense, eat a snack. Depending on what you’re going to do, a banana may suffice. Don’t forget to hydrate.
- Hydrate and fuel during your workout. The majority of workouts only require hydration; drink water while you’re exercising. If you’re going for longer than 30 minutes, consider a sports drink or gel.
- Hydrate after your workout. Medicine in Motion recommends drinking 3 cups of water for every pound you lose sweating. Weigh yourself before and after your workout to find out what you’re perspiring out.
- Have a post-workout snack. While Medicine in Motion suggests replenishing your glycogen stores within two hours of an intense workout, I try to have something right away – usually the second half of the protein shake I was sipping before the metcon. A good post-workout snack includes carbs and protein.
Also, don’t neglect the rest of your nutrition! What you eat all day will fuel your workouts, so choose wisely: lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats.