Hey friends! I hope you are having a great Tuesday so far. I’m really excited about today’s podcast because I know we have a lot of ladies here who are either starting out with exercise in the new year or are athletes. I’ve got a great interview for ya with Kelly Jones, who is a sports dietitian! She talks about what to eat before and after a workout.
Good Week- It snowed in Charlotte last week! Our weather is so mild that it’s nice to get one or two good snows in.
Bad Week- reading Crossfit’s article criticizing dietitians. I wanted to give a response in the podcast episode. I wrote and rewrote my response 10x before deleting it and trying to keep my thoughts brief. Let me know if you’d like hearing more about how a registered dietitian can help you! Listen to the podcast for my thoughts.
Kelly and I start out by discussing everything she had to do to become a sports dietitian! I didn’t realize she has to take the exam every 5 years. Go Kelly!
What to eat when you are just starting a new workout routine
Most women do 1 of 2 things: they either start eating less OR they start eating whatever they want.
Instead, Kelly recommends listening to your body and paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues. When you work out, a lot more of the energy that you’re burning is coming from carbohydrates- they are your muscle and brain’s best source of energy!
The only nutrition tips you really need to worry about for a shorter, less intense workout are:
- to build in pre-workout snack and/or
- consume heavier carbs in the meal after a workout
What to Eat Before a Workout
Make sure your pre-workout snack is a little more rich in carbohydrates. Depending on how far away your snack is from your workout, Kelly recommends:
> If you’re eating 45min to 1.5 hours before a workout – this is a good time to pair carbs, fats and protein.
> If you’re eating RIGHT before exercise- choose something that is mostly carbohydrates like dried fruit by itself or 1/2 glass fruit-based smoothie just to have that energy to keep your blood sugar normal.
Do you NEED a snack before a workout?
Kelly says YES if it’s been more than 3 hours since your last meal
- Dates with almond butter or peanut butter (dates = nature’s candy)
- Rice cakes and hummus
- Wheat pretzels and hummus
- Fruit is great
Be sure to use trial and error. What works for some doesn’t work for all.
What to eat after a workout:
Most people already eat enough protein throughout the day, but when you’re working out you want to make sure you are spacing your protein out and eating protein at the right times. Here are some of Kelly’s suggestions for protein-filled post-workout snacks:
- Snack = pairing carbs, protein + fluids
- Milk or soy milk
- Yogurt- plain with honey and fruit
- Roasted edamame
Protein Needs When Starting a Workout Routine
Kelly says most people do not need to increase their protein intake when they start a new workout regimen unless they are vegan (you just want to make sure you’re getting enough), or if someone is more in an athlete range (ex: they are training for something).
They key for most people is the timing of protein, meaning spreading it out throughout the day. This especially means getting enough protein in the morning. Here are some examples to add more protein at breakfast:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Add egg whites to oatmeal
Protein needs are specific to each person but in general, women should get:
- at least 15g at breakfast
- 25g at lunch and dinner
- and then 10g-ish at snacks
When do you need a sports drink when exercising?
Sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade were designed to replenish electrolytes, carbohydrates and fluids all at the same time. You don’t need them unless you’re exercising for more than an hour at a time (or after 30 minutes if you’re prone to hypoglycemia).
IF you are working out for more than an hour at a time then you want to start using these types of products at the 45 minute mark of your workout.
Kelly finds that a lot of people that don’t need sports drinks are drinking them, and people who are exercising for well over an hour are avoiding them.
Exercising for Weight Loss
Most people start exercising for weight loss or to try to burn calories. Exercise has so many health benefits: heart health, mental health, better sleep, and blood sugar management. We should focus on those instead. People stick to goals better when they have health-related goals.
She does see a lot of eating disorders accompanied by compulsive exercisers. An example she give is someone who takes multiple workout classes in one day. Many don’t even realize they have an eating disorder.
Kelly’s advice if you don’t know where to start:
Kelly recommends that you find an activity that you like and that makes you feel good. For example, don’t join a group fitness activity if you really love workout out alone. Think about what works for you! Anything that is a stress reliever is great!
Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN is a board certified sports dietitian based in greater Philadelphia. As a media spokesperson, speaker, consultant, and nutrition coach, her expertise lies in performance nutrition, intuitive eating and nutrition for anxiety management. Kelly is the co-creator of the virtual course Fit Fueling: Intuitive Eating for Active Females.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KellyJonesNutrition/
Instagram Handle: @kellyjonesrd
Twitter Handle: @kellyjonesrd