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YMCA nutritionist offers tips for a better workout

Posted at 8:49 AM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 08:49:42-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With the weather finally warming up, more people are getting back to working out outside. For some, it's their first time working out in a while.

Whether you're just going for a casual jog to get your heart rate up or training for a triathlon, what you put in your body has a huge impact on your workout.

Nutritionist Emily Peay and Tim Joyce from the YMCA joined us on FOX 17 Morning News to share some helpful tips about nutrition and working out.

YMCA nutritionist offers tips for a better workout

Emily is an ultra-endurance trail runner and triathlete who has Type 1 diabetes. She says it might take multiple training runs to figure out what nutrition combination works best.

Here are a few of Emily’s tips on how runners can make sure they are race-ready:

1. Include protein in all meals – Protein is an essential building block for muscles, helping them recover from training. Good sources of protein come from meat, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, tofu, seeds and legumes.

2. Eat plenty of carbohydrates – Carbohydrates provide the major source of energy when training, so they should make up 45% to 65% of a runner’s daily calories. Whole-grain breads and pastas, as well as long-grain brown rice, quinoa and starchy vegetables such as potatoes are good sources of carbs.

3. Increase fruit and vegetable intake – Fruits and vegetables are important components of every training plan because they are packed full of vitamins and minerals essential for proper recovery of trained muscles, prevention of illness and overall health and wellbeing. Plus, they’re a great source of fiber, which provides more sustained energy during training.

4. Fuel during training – It’s important to focus on consuming carbohydrates and drinking fluids during exercise. Carbs have been proven to delay fatigue and improve performance. Athletes should consume 30 grams to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour of running depending on pace, preference and what sits best on the stomach. They also should drink five ounces to 10 ounces of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes.

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