5 nutrition tips to power your next workout

Posted: June 05, 2024 | Word Count: 636

With the kickoff of summer, and #GlobalRunningDay, many of us are motivated to slip into our sneakers and head outside for a run. A good run enhances strength, contributes to cardiovascular fitness, builds muscle endurance and is a great way to shed pounds. It's also a boost for your mental health. A recent study in Neuroscience News found aerobic exercise like running leads to an increase in levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine — chemicals that regulate your mood. It also helps promote better sleep, relaxes stress hormones and increases brain function.

So, take this as your sign to get out there! But, in addition to the right footwear, a killer playlist and an interesting route for your workout, it's vital to focus on nutrition. Regardless of the distance or duration of your run, sports nutrition is an important key to your performance.

Most runners know they should get some carbs, protein, and stay hydrated. But how much, and when? Before, during or after your run? Dana Ryan, Ph.D., MA, MBA, director of Sports Performance, Nutrition and Education and Chair of the Fitness Advisory Board at Herbalife, offers these tips to get moving with good nutrition.

Start with the basics. Whether you're a distance runner or a new jogger working up to your first mile, a good basic diet is the building block for great performance. Fruits, veggies, lean protein, healthy fats and good carbohydrates are a must.

Pre-workout boost. As you near your run, you want to focus on liquids. One to two hours before your workout, drink a protein shake that includes carbohydrates. Protein helps your brain and body function and gives you an energy boost, and those carbs keep you going. Within 30 minutes of your run, a pre-workout drink that contains caffeine and nitric oxide precursors is a good option. The two things you want to avoid pre workout are fiber and fat as they are hard for the body to digest.

Hydrate! This is vital before, during and after your workout. Proper hydration is essential not only for general body functions, but also boosts performance and mitigates dehydration during running. Runners need to maintain body water balance, because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature. For hydration, water alone is great. Water with electrolytes kicks it up a notch. Herbalife24 CR7 Drive was designed to support athletes. It enhances hydration with 320 mg of electrolytes that you can lose during exercise, and B12.

Carb it up. For many dieters, carbs are taboo. But for runners, or people who do other high-intensity workouts, carbs are key to performance. If you've ever run out of steam or hit a wall during a workout, it could be because you're low on carbs. While running, it’s crucial to replace what the body is losing, namely carbohydrates and electrolytes. One’s body fatigues because of the depletion of carbohydrate reserves and dehydration due to loss of water and electrolytes in sweat, both of which hinder sports performance. So, for every hour of running, consume about 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates through a sports drink.

Finish with protein. Immediately following the completion of a run, make sure to get some protein in. Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, consume 20 to 40 grams of high-quality protein, no matter how long the run was. And for those longer runs, add in some carbohydrates to be closer to a 3:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. Why? Protein after a run helps your muscles repair and recover. The amino acids in protein help build lean muscle, which is exactly what you want.

No matter your fitness level, nutrition is an important part of getting the most out of your workout. Now, get out there and move!

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