NUTRIENT TIMING


When you eat is as important as what you eat when it comes to athletic performance. The tips below can guide you to the optimum times you need to eat and drink to perform your best, along with sample snacks and meals.

  Pre-Workout Fueling During Exercise (Hydration) Post-Workout Refueling Daily Fueling
Why To fuel up for the body’s next challenge To replace sweat loss and provide carbs to maintain blood sugar levels To replenish glycogen, restore electrolytes, replace fluid losses, and repair damaged tissues To support normal activities, repair damaged tissues, and promote muscle growth
What High-carbohydrate snack of 200–300 calories

Choose foods low in fat and fiber to prevent digestive upset

Water

Sports drinks*/** that contain sodium, potassium, glucose, and fructose

Weigh before and after working out; replace 16–24 oz fluid per pound lost throughout the day (not more than 12 quarts per day).

25–50 grams of carbs

20–25 grams of protein

Plenty of fluids

Choose easily digestible foods and beverages that provide electrolytes and fluids

Meals and snacks that emphasize a balanced diet of carbs, lean protein, healthy fats, and fluids—especially water

Choose lean protein (such as meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, or eggs), whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products

When 30–60 minutes prior During exercise up to one hour: 3–8 oz of water every 15–20 min

During exercise longer than one hour: 3–8 oz of a sports drink every 15–20 min

Within 45 minutes after a workout Throughout the remainder of the day
Suggestions
  • Jam*/jelly* on bread*
  • Fruit*, low-fat granola*, low-fat milk*
  • First Strike Bar*/**
  • Pudding cup* or low-fat Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Small muffin (muffin top*), low-fat milk*
 
  • Low-fat yogurt with fruit and granola, juice
  • Chocolate milk, fruit
  • Pita with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, tea
  • Tuna, crackers, fruit, water
  • Pocket sandwich**, sports drink**
  • Fruit and nut mix**, sports drink**
  • Chicken fajita with tortilla, beans, salsa*, water
  • Stir-fried tofu with veggies, rice, soymilk
Meals

  • Egg-white omelet with spinach and mushrooms, whole-grain bread, jam, low-fat milk*
  • Whole-wheat pita sandwich with turkey and veggies, pretzels, applesauce, low-fat milk*
  • Cheese tortellini in tomato sauce*, tossed salad, grapes, water
  • Lamb kebabs, pita, spinach, mango-yogurt beverage

Snacks

  • Yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit
  • Granola bar and milk
  • Trail mix
*In Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) **In First Strike Ration (FSR)
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