Exercise and Nutrition
Nutrition plays an essential role in supporting fitness and exercise. If you increase your level of physical activity, your need for nutrients and calories will also increase. In addition, the foods you eat before and after you exercise will have an impact on your performance during the physical activity and on your recovery afterward.
Perform some library research, and in a 2-3 page paper written in APA format using proper spelling/grammar, address the following:
1. Describe the importance of pre- and post-exercise nutrition choices. Provide examples of foods that are appropriate selections for each category.
2. Explain how foods and nutrients (including fluids and electrolytes) help improve a person’s performance during physical activity and their recovery afterward.
3. Consider your responses to items 1 and 2 above, and suggest an appropriate nutritional plan for a physically active person. Be sure to explain what the person should consume in an average day to support their caloric and nutritional needs.
4. Cite at least 2 credible references and present the resources in APA format on the References page.
When it comes to fitness and exercise nutrition play a key role in supporting the body with an adequate and efficient amount energy that it needs when participating in physical activities. Pre and post exercise nutrition are important because depending on how much energy is being used and what needs to be replaced after exercise to maintain adequate body health. A nutrition that plays a key role in pre and post exercise is water (Whitney, 20180101). Keeping hydrated before, during and after any exercise helps to prevent dehydration which can cause the body to have lower levels of energy and prevent muscle cramps or spasms during and after exercise [CITATION Chr19 \l 1033]. Eating carbohydrates pre exercise for quick energy to break down glucose that enters the cells within the muscles give the body the energy to exercise and ensures that the body will have extra glucose on hand if the body needs to replenish the glycogen in its storage [CITATION Chr19 \l 1033]. If the body doesn’t have enough glucose during exercise the body can quickly become weak and tired due to the inadequate level of glucose by eating foods high in carbohydrates such as granola bars, fruit, oatmeal, crackers and peanut butter 30 minutes to an hour before exercising will provide the body with adequate levels of glucose during exercise and after to keep the body from crashing (Whitney, 20180101).
Post exercise it is important that the body replaces the nutrition’s, calories, protein and electrolytes that have been lost and used during any exercise. Post exercise nutrition’s should be rich in complex carbohydrates that break down more slowly along with healthy proteins to promote muscle recovery and foods containing electrolytes which are lost through sweat during exercise [CITATION Bri16 \l 1033 ]. Complex carbohydrate foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, nuts and quinoa are good sources to replace the glycogen that has been used during exercise and help the body from becoming fatigued along with preventing low blood sugar [CITATION Bri16 \l 1033 ]. Sources of healthy protein foods like salmon, eggs, grilled chicken and oatmeal give the body the ability to repair muscle that have been torn during exercise and help with a speedy recovery [CITATION Bri16 \l 1033 ]. Potassium, calcium and magnesium are some of the key electrolytes that the body loses through sweat during exercise and must be replenished post exercise to prevent dehydration, muscle cramping or spasms (Whitney, 20180101).
Potassium, calcium, magnesium and of course water are some of electrolytes that are lost during exercise which can be found in foods such as celery, apples, bananas oranges, sweet potatoes and of course the most important water which are need to replace and maintain adequate levels in the body (Whitney, 20180101). On average most people need between 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight however, for a physically active person the caloric intake can increase from 500 to 1,000 more [CITATION Bri161 \l 1033 ]. It is important for athletes to have a diet that supports a physically active lifestyle which must provide adequate balance of water, energy and all other nutrients (Whitney, 20180101). For anyone that is physically active it is imperative to stay hydrated to prevent extreme loss of electrolytes causing dehydration which can lead to hyponatremia, muscle cramps and spasms (Whitney, 20180101). When choosing a nutritional plan for a physically active person it is important to understand what foods support the performance that they are wanting to achieve and which particular foods provide the adequate nutrients their bodies need (Whitney, 20180101). Pre work out meals or snacks should be easily to digestible, provide the body with plenty of fluids and be primarily carbohydrates between 300 to 800 calories (Whitney, 20180101). Pre exercise snacks such as peanut butter, oatmeal, fruits and/or dried nuts are some examples of foods that provide the body with the nutrient like glucose and protein that provide energy needed for physical activities and should be eaten 30 minutes to an hour prior to exercise or meals which should be consumed 1 to 4 hours prior to physical activity (Whitney, 20180101).
Post work out meals should provide recovery and quickly replaces the glycogen so that it is readily available for other activity by consuming high carbohydrate foods post exercise it allows the body to enhance glycogen storage along with high protein foods to produce adequate protein production and recovery (Whitney, 20180101). Post exercise meals should contain carbohydrate such as sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, rice, pastas and fruits along with proteins like eggs, chicken, fish or greek yogurt and fats like avocados and nuts help provide the body with nutrients that decrease muscle protein break down, increase muscle protein growth, restores glycogen stores and enhances recovery [ CITATION Bri161 \l 1033 ].
Brian Krans, N. B. (2016, February 12). Balanced Diet. Retrieved from Healthline:
Brian St. Pierre, M. R. (2016, May 8). Workout nutrition explained. Retrieved from
Christopher R. Mohr, P. R. (2019, September 10). Timing Your Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition. Retrieved
from eatright.org. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
Whitney, E. N. (2019). Understanding Nutrition 15th Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning, Inc.