M18 — May 2012 — Eat to Win
Intro: Spring is a time when people tend to re-up their New Year's resolutions. Many make the commitment to get off the couch and into an exercise program. But figuring out what and how much you should eat while you're training can be confusing. A nutrition expert from Mayo Clinic has some tips on how you can eat to win.
This group is gearing up to run a marathon.
Training takes commitment and discipline. And it means paying attention to what you put in your body. The food you eat.
"Carbohydrate intake for your fuel, and hydration. Those two components will make a tremendous difference in your success of feeling well during your exercise, as well as the outcome of your performance."
Sherry Mahoney is a director of nutrition at Mayo Clinic. She's also a triathlete.
Carbs, she says, should come from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
"When you fill your plate with food, these should take up at least 2/3 of the space on the plate."
The other third should be a lean source of protein. So for breakfast, she suggests yogurt and fruits.
"Or cereals, waffles, pancake, oatmeal."
"Americans like to eat sandwiches."
Again, choose whole grains, veggies and lean protein.
Think the same thing at dinner. 2/3 carbs to 1/3 protein. And two healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts between meals help keep energy levels up. So, now that you know what to eat to keep your body fueled, let's find out how much you should eat.
"I usually would recommend that people consume 10 to 12 calories per pound to start with."
That means on a normal, non activity day a 150-pound person should eat about 1500 calories. On exercise days, Sherry says that person should up their caloric intake by about 50-percent for moderate activity. So the 150-pound person should eat about 750 extra calories.
That's just a general rule. You'll have to adjust that amount depending on how long or hard you exercise. As for hydration, the rule during exercise is 4 swallows every 10-20 minutes. And 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day.
There's no question that exercise is important for your health. And if you eat right while you train, you'll feel the benefits faster.
For Mayo Clinic, I'm Vivien Williams.
Again, Sherry says how much you need to eat depends on your activity level and your size. So you'll have to do a little experimenting to find out. She also says the recommendations she gives here are for people who want to train and maintain, not lose weight. If you do want to lose weight while you train, she says it's a good idea to talk to a nutritionist to make sure you're getting the fuel you need to stay healthy.
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