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Question
Posted by: Kimmi | 2009/11/05

Eating before and after workouts

Hi Doc!

I am currently following a low GI diet and eating every 3 hours, so 5 times a day. I also exercise about 45mins a day cardio and then do some weights as well. It is working well and I can definitely see the difference, but as I am getting fitter and learning more about food, I wonder about what is best to eat before and after a workout.

I read in Women' s Health that a smallish apple 1 hr before a workout is one of the best things to eat. But what else?
Also, I have read different things about what to eat afterwards. some articles say I shouldn' t eat carbs for an hour after and some say I should eat carbs within that 1st hour afterwards.

Please help me out!
Thanks doc and love the advice and entire site!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Kimmy
Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that the low-GI diet and the 5 small meals a day plus the exercise are working well. The general rule when it comes to eating before or after exercise is as follows: If you do very strenuous exercise that requires a great deal of energy then you need to have a high-GI snack about 20 min before exercising and use a high-GI energy drink during and after exercise to firstly fuel your activity and secondly replenish your glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. However if you feel that you have sufficient energy for the type of exercise you are doing then just have an apple or another fruit before exercise and eat a meal like pasta when you have rested a bit after exercise. Most non-elite athletes do not require the massive carb load that the top athletes need to be able to perform and recover. If you find that you are feeling tired or washed out after exercise then by all means have about 150 ml of an energy drink or eat a small energy bar.
Enjoy your good diet and exercise programme
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2009/11/06

Dear Kimmy
Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that the low-GI diet and the 5 small meals a day plus the exercise are working well. The general rule when it comes to eating before or after exercise is as follows: If you do very strenuous exercise that requires a great deal of energy then you need to have a high-GI snack about 20 min before exercising and use a high-GI energy drink during and after exercise to firstly fuel your activity and secondly replenish your glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. However if you feel that you have sufficient energy for the type of exercise you are doing then just have an apple or another fruit before exercise and eat a meal like pasta when you have rested a bit after exercise. Most non-elite athletes do not require the massive carb load that the top athletes need to be able to perform and recover. If you find that you are feeling tired or washed out after exercise then by all means have about 150 ml of an energy drink or eat a small energy bar.
Enjoy your good diet and exercise programme
DietDoc

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