Before a long and/or tough workout, it is best to fuel your body properly. It can make a huge difference in your performance. Unfortunately, not everyone is educated on proper fueling, and so Women's Health Magazine outlined the top 5 fueling mistakes...
Eating something new the day of a race or important workout
It is a great idea to experiment with different foods to see how it effects your performance, but doing so on the day of your important workout is not smart.
Instead, decide what you will eat on the morning of an important event or workout ahead of time and practice by eating it several times in training before shorter workouts.
Too much caffeine before the tough workout
Caffeine has definitely been proven to help performance by improving endurance and reduce perceived exertion, but too much of a good thing can cause negative effects - like nervousness, headaches, insomnia, and digestive issues.
Sports nutrition guidelines recommend 0.5-1.5 mg of caffeine per pound of body weight (that’s 75-225 mg for a 150-pound woman). But he suggests sticking to the lower end of that range (70mg is about one cup of coffee).
Eating kale salad before an evening workout
Kale is wonderful, but it is packed with hard-to-digest fibers. Therefore, eating kale before a workout will result in a lot of undigested food in your stomach. No one wants bloating and gas during a workout!
Stick to the digestible carbs, like a sweet potato or almond butter and honey. If you must have fruits and veggies, try juicing them. This will make it easier for your body to digest and in turn give more energy toward breathing and contracting muscles during the workout.
Drink when you're "supposed to" during a workout
Everyone has different fueling needs and because of variables like temperature, humidity, etc., drink when you feel like you need to during a workout instead of following an average recommendation.
Drink water when you are thirsty, as long as you're getting between 10 and 20 ounces per hour of your workout. Listen to your body. Your brain will let you know when you need to drink.
Skipping a post-workout snack
A primary goal after a workout should be a snack. This is to restore your energy reserves with a good mix of protein and carbs as quickly as possible.
Try an easy-to-digest meal with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein, which research suggests is the ideal balance. Try fresh fruit and a handful of nuts, Greek yogurt with blueberries, or a whole-wheat wrap with almond butter and honey. If you tend not to be hungry right after a workout, try a protein shake or an energy supplement with recovery fuels until you get your appetite back.
What's your favorite way to fuel before, during, or after an important workout?
Women's Health Mag