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guest post: fuel for a feel-good workout.

by kathleen on December 9, 2011

Fuel for a Feel-Good Workout

Hello, Daily Crumb readers! I’m , the nutrition student, exercise enthusiast, and dark chocolate addict over at Nutrition Nut on the Run. I’m honored to be able to share some of my nuttiness with you today while Kathleen’s away in the Mile High City. Her blog has recently been added to my Daily Reads list as it makes me smile with her creative and witty posts — my favorite features being Coffee Talk and Of the Moment.

Kathleen asked me if I’d write something about running for you all. With a few years studying nutrition and a few more years of running under my feet, I thought I’d write about both food and fitness via how I fuel my exercise habit.

FYI, the following advice is based on personal experience. I am not a registered dietitian or an expert by any means, but a senior nutrition student and half-marathon aficionado.

I like to exercise and run on a fairly “empty stomach.” My best workouts are those when I have not just eaten a heavy high-fat, high-fiber meal. Before I exercise, I typically avoid dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) and high-fiber foods (such as beans) that require more effort from my body to digest. Instead, I chose “lighter” foods – higher in natural sugar and simple carbohydrates – to supply my blood with ample glucose, whether it is for a long 10-mile run or a quick ‘n’ sweaty HIIT workout.

Below are a few ways I fuel my body for feel-good workouts:

Dates + Nut Butter.

1 or 2 Medjool dates dipped in 1-2tsp. of nut butter is a small, yet energy-packed snack. The dates provide natural sugar (glucose = energy!), while the nut butter provides some protein and fat to sustain energy (fat and protein are digested at a slower rate than carbohydrates).

Chocolate Espresso Energy Bites.

Ingredients: dates, raw almonds, raw cashews, chia seeds, unsweetened cocoa, instant espresso powder.

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite bars on the market, Larabars. Ideal exercise fuel for the coffee enthusiast, these bite-sized (gluten-free and vegan) balls are nutrient-dense, travel-friendly, and body-happy!

I’ll eat 1-2, depending on my workout, about 1 hour before exercising.

Caffeine.

Sometimes I’ll pop a few dark chocolate-covered espresso beans to pump me up and give me that extra buzz I need to get me out on the road or to the gym.

“Runners know they need carbs post-run to rebuild their glycogen stores, but a recent study suggests caffeine may also enhance recovery. Cyclists rode hard for two consecutive days to drain their glycogen stores. They then drank a carb beverage with or without caffeine. Researchers found that having a drink with caffeine rebuilds glycogen stores 66 percent more than a carb-only drink.” – Runner’s World

Also, sometimes I fill my water bottle with iced green tea to chug during an intense cycling class or tiring treadmill run.

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How do you like to fuel your runs and/or workouts?

For nutritious recipes and running rambling, stop by and be sure to say hello!

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October 20, 2011

a quick hello!   we are off to explore for the day, but do yourself a favor and check out a guest post from faith @ the stirring place right here!  faith has a fantastic blog (one of my faves!) and her recipes are mouthwatering.  today she has put together a halloween menu to make [...]