Got up today and decided on another 5 mile run (or jog, I guess… whatever). I fueled up with a wheat english muffin, 1 half with PB and the other half with the last bit of almond butter. This is toasted, but doesn’t look like it in the picture.
So this is about 150 calories. I found it to be good fuel for the run. Not too much, but just enough to keep me energized.
I knocked some time off the last one! I did the 5 miles in 57:15 (last time was 59:01). Still not pushing it, but staying comfortable. Yay – and it burned 600 calories!
I only fuel for longer workouts. If I was only going for 3 miles, I would have just done that and come back and eaten breakfast. During the week, I exercise first thing in the morning. Now that I am done with the triathlon, I am settling into a less intense workout program, which is kind of nice! When my workouts last longer than an hour, I fuel up before hand. Except for running – anything over 3 miles gets morning fuel.
If I exercise later in the day, I do not fuel up as I have been eating all day prior to that.
While if you exercise on an empty stomach, your body will have to dive into its fat stores to gain energy, but this is wasteful (IMHO). That makes the body work harder than it should just to get energy, let alone burn it – making your workout less effective and making you more tired. Your muscles store about 300 calories of glycogen at any given time – which is your fuel for workouts). That covers about 3 miles of jogging (100 calories per mile). Anything over that and you should give your body some fuel to consume that is mostly simple digesting carbs with a bit of protein and fat so your body doesn’t “flash” through it with a glucose spike.
This is why carbs are really important in a diet when you exercise just as much as protein.
Great pre-workout snacks tested by me?
1/2 bagel with nut butter
english muffin with nut butter
cheese and crackers (if you can eat that in the moring. I don’t like cheese when I first get up, although I could eat it for the rest of the day all day long).
Banana and nut butter
Stonyfield yogurt smoothie
I have found these fuels to be the optimum ones that give me energy without feeling full and not making me ravenous when I am done.
What are your workout fuels?