The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


6 Simple Tips to Fuel Your Workout

Posted in
Fit Tips

Monday, Jun 30, 2014

Keeping your body well fueled is a key component to a good workout and other demanding physical activities. Good nutrition not only helps to delay workout fatigue, but it also assists with a faster recovery, and helps improve body composition and strength.

In order to fit healthy eating into your day, planning ahead is essential. Whether you are a morning, afternoon, or evening exerciser, think about how snacks or meals can fit in and be prepared. Follow these tips for fueling your workouts:

  1. Plan on fueling your body every 3-4 hours. Keep snacks or meals on hand to maintain energy levels. Healthy choices that are easy to take with you while in the field include fruit, cut vegetables, low fat yogurt/cottage cheese/cheese, low fat popcorn, unsalted nuts, whole grain breads/crackers, nut butters, smoothies, and whole grain cereals.
  2. For a quick pick me up 30 minutes prior to a workout, choose a high carbohydrate snack such as a piece of fruit, smoothie, or granola bar to give you a little boost.
  3. Following your workout, a carbohydrate rich/protein combination will help replenish body stores. Good examples include oatmeal with berries and milk, or eggs with whole grain toast and orange juice.
  4. 50-60% of energy used during moderate intensity workouts is derived from carbohydrate, making it the preferred fuel for working muscles. There is no need to supplement with additional protein; as a healthy diet will meet your nutritional needs.
  5. While there are many products on the market that claim to enhance your workout, such as sports drinks, gels, and energy bites, real food can also meet your requirements. Additional supplements are not always necessary for moderate intensity workouts and may cause stomach upset if consumed during exercise.
  6. Always stay well hydrated. Keeping water or other beverages such as unsweetened teas or 100% fruit juices on hand is an essential to maintain hydration for a workout.

How to Fuel Your Workouts. Retrieved Febuary 25, 2014 from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Website:

The Cooper Institute (2013) First Responder Fitness Specialist. The Cooper Institute: Dallas, TX