By Lee Hersh
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Propel. I was compensated and all opinions are my own.
In this post, I will share my learnings from a seminar I took with Propel Water and Gatorade on proper hydration and nutrition for athletes and moderate exercisers.
Looking back, I wish I would have been more particular in high school in what I ate and drank during soccer season. Knowing what I know now about nutrition and hydration could have made a HUGE difference in my performance, especially for those charley horses I used to get. Have you ever had one? If you’re not familiar with the term charley horse, it’s just another way to say muscle cramp or muscle spasm in your leg. I kid you not, I would get a charley horse at least once a week, which would prevent me from being able to sprint and sometimes even walk. This is the worst feeling, especially when you’re playing in a big game.
Side note: high school soccer is where I was first introduced to Propel. My mom used to buy the lemon flavor for me way back when the entire bottle was blue :D
There are many reasons why a charley horse can occur, and one of them is dehydration. I drank a good amount of liquid during exercise, but never made a point to make sure I was properly hydrated before the activity began. To this day, I am still guilty of not drinking enough liquid throughout the day and have suffered from severe dehydration before ← not fun.
My friends at Propel specialize in hydration. Because well, that’s who they are and what they do! As an ambassador, I took a course by Gatorade Sports Science Institute called Foods and Fluids for Fitness Athletes. It talked all about how to get the most out of your workout by fueling your body with the right foods and fluids. Today I want to share with you key highlights of what I learned so that a charley horse doesn’t sneak up on you like it has to me!
What to eat and drink before you begin exercise.
- Start hydrating 4 hours prior to exercise.
- Drink 0.07 to 0.10 oz of fluid per pound of bodyweight. A 130-lb. woman should drink 9-13 oz. of fluid.
- Urine should be light in color.
- Eat a carbohydrate-rich snack 3-4 hours prior to exercise. Consume 0.45g of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. A 120-lb woman should consume around 50 grams of carbohydrates.
One of my favorite carbo-rich snacks to eat before a workout is Banana Sushi: 218 calories | 34g carbs | 11g fat | 10g protein | 16g sugar.
What to eat and drink during exercise.
- Fluids should be consumed during a workout to minimize changes in body weight.
- Be mindful of your sweat rate and don’t forget that sweat also contains sodium.
- Fluids that have sodium in it will help you stay hydrated during your workout.
- If the duration of your workout is long and intense, add a small carbohydrate so you can keep your body fueled.
What to eat and drink after you exercise.
- Replacing lost fluids helps prepare the body for the next day’s workout.
- Drink ~16-24 oz of fluid with sodium for every pound of weight lost during exercise.
- Eating protein shortly after exercise will improve recovery and help get the most out of a workout.
My all-time favorite high-protein snack to teat post-workout is a Strawberry Banana Protein Slammer: 170 calories | 33g carbs | 11g protein | 17g sugar.
Looking back to my high school soccer days, I wish I would have known what I do now so I could have prevented those charley horses and made myself an all-around better athlete.
What I find interesting is that ever since I started drinking more Propel (before, after, and during workouts), I drink a lot more fluid in general. I am a huge taste person and thoroughly enjoy flavored water. AND the best part is- I’ve noticed my pee has been a lot clearer
Over the next week, I will be participating in Propel’s Add Flavor Challenge. I will be…
- Monitoring my urine color throughout the day (YAY!) <– hoping for a light like lemonade color
- Focusing on hydrating BEFORE my workout even starts
- Hydrating properly during my workout based on my sweat rate (~ 44 ounces per hour)
- Rehydrating properly AFTER my workout with both fluid and sodium based on my sweat rate (~20-24 ounces of fluid)
Do you monitor your fluid intake throughout the day?