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6 Healthy Eating Tips for Real Active Adults
by Meri Raffetto, RD

Are you an unabashed exercise and health nut? Good for you...

For active adults it's important to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition for your pre-meal and post-meal workouts.

Here are 6 healthy eating tips to keep you on track!

Adequate Carbohydrates!

With the latest low carb trend it can become difficult, to say the least, to figure out what you should be eating especially if you are active! The truth is, when you exercise your muscle burns a type of carbohydrate called glycogen for fuel. To keep these important fuel levels optimal for peak performance, we must eat a diet rich in whole grains, beans, potatoes, and other high-carbohydrate foods. You can't produce optimal glycogen stores with a high protein low carbohydrate diet. Go for the whole grains such as 100% whole wheat breads, brown rice, quinoa, or millet. Limit the 'white' refined products.

Protein

Yes it is true, active people need more protein than the average person. It is especially important after our workouts to repair muscle damage. Include lean meats, fish, soy, and eggs. Active people need about 3-4 three-ounce servings a day.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!

When you exercise, you breathe harder taking in more oxygen. While you need oxygen to support life, it can become unstable in the body. Unstable oxygen can oxidize and damage your muscle cells which can bring on inflammation and soreness. You can protect yourself from oxidation by eating healthful amounts of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day!

Drink, Drink, Drink

The more you exercise, the more you sweat. Replacing these fluids is vital for peak performance and endurance. During long workouts you may need a sports drink that contains carbohydrates and electrolytes. Drink at least 8-10 servings of fluids/day.

Fueling Before A Workout

This step alone will not only lengthen your workout but it will also increase your performance which is key when training for an event. If you don't eat before exercise you will likely feel light-headedness, fatigue, and nausea. In addition, your body turns to muscle protein for fuel because it doesn't have enough carbohydrate. By starting your workout well-fueled, your body will burn a combination of the carbohydrate stored in your muscles and stored fat. Eat 2-4 hours before a workout or event. Choose a high carbohydrate, low fat, moderate protein meal or snack. Drink at least 10 ounces of water to help offset sweat loss during your workout.

Fueling After A Workout

It is important to consume calories and fluids during the first half hour after you exercise for optimal recovery. If you aren't hungry right away a quick snack will do. Drinking a sports drink or 100% fruit juice will do the trick!

Don't forget to eat a meal later with protein to repair muscle damage.

About the author: Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She has developed online weight management programs to help people get off of diets and get into way of life. For more information and a free newsletter visit: www.reallivingnutrition.com