Steve Edwards is head of fitness and nutrition development at Beachbody®.
The answer depends on two factors: your overall diet and how intense your workout is. If you eat small, balanced meals every few hours while you're awake, you don't really need a preworkout meal strategy. Your body should have ample fuel to get you through any workout around an hour or less (longer workouts have specific needs).
However, if you go longer than 3 hours without eating, you should determine your needs based on a few things. First, how hard is your workout? Easy aerobics and other work where your heart rate doesn't exceed 140/150 bpm (easy yoga, slow jogging, cycling, hiking, etc.) don't use a lot of fuel (blood sugar and its back-up, glycogen) and can be done effectively on a fairly empty tank. Good hydration (water only) should be all the fuel you need.
Harder workouts, like INSANITY®, P90X®, or really anything in the Beachbody line that is hard for you, all have an anaerobic interval component which burns your limited stores of glycogen. Your body stores glycogen until you need it, but when your diet is very lean, like most Beachbody diet plans are, you will almost certainly deplete these stores before the end of your workout if you haven't eaten in a while. This condition, called "bonking," causes your performance to instantaneously plummet.
Here are some general rules to avoid the dreaded "bonk." Note that we're not suggesting you eat 3 separate meals in the hours leading up to exercise. Rather, pick the one that best suits your day.
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3 hours prior to a workout: Eat a well-rounded, light meal. As long as it's not too many calories (more than 500-ish), most of it will be turned into fuel by the time you begin. Almost any meal in any Beachbody diet plan fits this mold, as you have ample time to digest.
2 hours prior: Eat a light snack that's mainly carbohydrates. Something that's 4 parts carbs to 1 part protein with little fat will ensure there's time to convert it into glycogen. "Energy foods," something like granola with yogurt and fruit, is ideal.
1 hour prior: Eat very light, no more than 200 or so calories at around a 4:1 carb to protein ratio. Any extra protein and fat will hinder your workout. It's similar to the 2 hours prior snack, but since your body can only convert 200 to 300 calories into energy in a given hour you'll want to keep the portions smaller.
Less than 1 hour: Try not to eat during the last hour before your workout. If you haven't eaten in hours, liquid fuels, like Results and Recovery Formula®, or easily digestible carbs, like half of a banana, will digest fast enough to help you during the later stages of the workout when your glycogen would otherwise run out.
Have a question you want us to answer? Email us at email@example.com!
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Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.
If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!
And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.
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You might be surprised to find out that when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape, your phone can be one of your most effective tools. After all, why not get help from something that is with you practically all day and night?
Here are 11 of the top ways you can use your cell phone to get fit or stay in shape!
I hope these tips will help you stay in shape with your cell phone. I'm getting a call . . . so, until next time!
Psychophysical and ergogenic effects of synchronous music during treadmill walking. (2009). Journal of sport exercise psychology, 31(1), 18-36. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19325186
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The chilly months are approaching and stress from your job or school may be doing a number on your motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. But don't let the absence of sunny days pave the way for choices that bring on the pesky cold. Instead, follow these 5 simple tips to stave off getting sick this season!
Everyone needs an occasional recovery period, but don't let that be an excuse to kick back on your couch for six months. Exercise can help prevent the onset of a bad cold. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine1 found that regular aerobic exercise (at least 5 days a week) resulted in shorter and less severe upper respiratory infections. Strive to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day to get the blood moving and help your immune system flush out infection.
Get Enough Sleep
Loud neighbors, too much caffeine, and stressful days may prevent you from getting the ideal 8 hours of restful sleep. In a study conducted at Carnegie Mellon, researchers discovered that those who slept less than 7 hours a night were 3 times as likely to get sick than those who slept 8 hours or more2. Don't risk your health to stay up and watch Chelsea Lately. That's what DVRs are for. Go to bed a little earlier to enjoy a healthy fall and winter.
Chow Down on Garlic
Vampires aren't the only ones scared off by garlic. Viruses are terrified of it as well! A handful of studies have been done to try and determine if—and why—garlic can help prevent the common cold, and while scientists haven't weighed definitively on this subject, published studies have shown that those who took a garlic supplement got sick less and recovered faster3. Plus, it can help open up your clogged sinuses if you're already feeling under the weather. As if you really needed another reason to add it to your breakfast scramble and delicious fall dishes.
How should you eat it? According to Dr. David W. Krauss, associate professor of environmental science and biology at the University of Alabama, it's best to crush it at room temperature and let it rest for 15 minutes before using it to trigger the release of its immune-boosting compounds4.
Don't Skimp on Whole Fruits and Veggies
When you're stressed or have contracted an infection, the vitamin C concentrations in your body plummet5. And, while taking vitamin C may not halt the development of a cold for some people, research suggests that if you follow an intense exercise regiment—such as P90X® or INSANITY®—supplementing your diet with vitamin C can actually help prevent a cold6.
As a kid, your mom probably told you to drink orange juice to get your vitamin C. And, while that's not bad . . . drinking orange juice is pretty much like guzzling sugar. Instead, swap out your juice for an orange or another food high in vitamin C—like seasonal sweet potato, butternut squash, or dark leafy greens.
Spoon Out Some Yogurt
The natural flora within your digestive tract are one of your body's first defenses against nasty pathogens7. To help strengthen it, eat a cup of yogurt as either a breakfast treat or snack. A study conducted by the Food Science Institute discovered that yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii (this includes almost all yogurts) helped prevent the common cold in elderly subjects8.
Bored with yogurt? Blend it with some ice, half of a banana, and some peanut butter, and throw it in the freezer for about an hour. You won't even think about hitting up the self-serve yogurt shop.
What methods do you use to stay well during fall and winter? Let us know at email@example.com!
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"7 Colors of the Phytonutrient Rainbow: How Eating a Variety of Colors Can Keep You Healthy"
Michelle D., a grandma of three, talks about her experience with TurboFire, an intense cardio conditioning program created by Chalene Johnson and Beachbody®. Granny's got her groove back, and she's sporting bikinis like nobody's business!
(Makes 16 servings, 1/4 cup each)
Tips: Other healthy additions include unsweetened shredded coconut, sulfate-free dried apricots, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dried unsweetened berries, hemp seeds, etc. You can store cold granola in an airtight container for up to a week.
Nutritional Information: (per serving)
Do you have a favorite granola recipe? Share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may run it in a future newsletter!
If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at email@example.com.
Body Beast Nutritional Information: (per 2 servings)
P90X/P90X2 Nutritional Information: (per 2 servings)
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†Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.
Please consult with a physician before beginning any exercise program.
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