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Sports Nutrition Tips

Eating before exercise

It's best to consume a well-balanced meal (protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats) several hours before exercise. Everyone is different in how their digestion works, but this will usually allow the meal to be fully digested before starting exercise. If you consume a meal or snack directly before exercise, it should be relatively low in fat and fiber to facilitate gastric emptying and minimize gastrointestinal distress, be relatively high in carbohydrate to maximize maintenance of blood glucose, and be moderate in protein. The specific amount of protein, complex carbohydrates and fats depends not only on the level of physical activity, but also on the athlete’s rates of growth or healing.

Eating after exercise

After exercise, an athlete should focus on adequate fluids, electrolytes, energy, and carbohydrates as the main dietary goals. Eating a meal or snack with protein and carbohydrates post-exercise will optimize the rate at which proteins and glucose are taken back up into the muscle. The focus during recovery is on carbohydrates, when cells are especially receptive to the uptake of glucose. Protein consumed after exercise will provide necessary amino acids for building and repair of muscle tissue.


Athletes must drink adequate fluids to stay hydrated for overall health and optimal performance, as even a loss of 1 percent body weight can reduce athletic performance. Dehydration occurs when your body has a water deficiency in excess of 2-3% body mass . The goal of drinking fluids is to prevent dehydration from occurring during exercise and individuals should not drink in excess of sweating rate. Water is usually a sufficient fluid for hydration but sometimes additional electrolytes are needed to replenish the body after a long duration of exercise.

Well balanced diet

The joint position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend the following nutrients. Our registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can recommend a personalized nutrition and hydration plan for your athletic needs.

  • Protein: 15-20%
  • Carbohydrate: 50-60%
  • Fat: < 30%

Your sports nutrition plan

Your sports nutrition plan will be individualized for you based on body weight, height, fat/muscle mass, sport(s) type, duration, and intensity. Find out how to build a performance plate for hard training days versus light training days. Call Pinnacle Medical Wellness to schedule an appointment with our registered dietitian nutritionist.

Schedule a nutrition consult today!

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