Last month, the NYT posted a great article on snacking during workouts. Every athlete has a different opinion about whether there are benefits to snacking while working out. However, a group of sports nutritionists writing a position paper on this very topic were able to analyze several studies on sports nutrition and here’s what they found:
“People have gotten the message that they have to eat something,” Dr. Manore said. They guzzle an energy drink or eat a sports bar, but that doesn’t help. And for the many who are trying to lose weight, the habit just adds extra calories.
What they need depends on what they ate before they started and how hard their workout is going to be, among other things, she explained. “If you can run six-minute miles or five-minute miles and you are going out for an hour, you do not need to be eating an energy bar during the workout,” Dr. Manore said.
Moderate athletes need to eat and drink after the workout, she said, but a healthy meal with plenty of fluids is sufficient. Indeed, for most of them, the most common error is to eat too much.
Dr. Manore follows her own advice. She hikes for an hour in the hills every morning, four to five miles. All she has before she goes out is a cup of tea with milk.
But anyone exercising for two hours or more does need to get carbohydrates, the muscles’ fuel, according to the position statement. That means eating before, and perhaps during, the workout.
Those who try to skimp can end up with a poorer performance, said Dan Benardot, a sports nutrition researcher at Georgia State University. A long workout, like a run that lasts more than two hours, is “an enormous drain on blood sugar,” he said.
To read more of what the sports nutritionists recommend, click here.
Not only is proper nutrition essential to having an effective workout, taking care of your body as a whole is as well. Don’t let lingering sports injuries go untreated as it could lead to a longer recovery time in the end. If you’re experiencing any pain in your joints (knees, hips, shoulders, etc.), take precaution and schedule a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. To make an appointment with Dr. Stein, call (212) 398-2300.