Powering Workouts Properly

One of the mistakes I made early in my fitness quest (and in all previous attempts) was failing to understand that the body needs fuel to accommodate increased exercise. And not just any old fuel and not just at any old time.

It’s all very science-y, but thanks to the awesome folks at Greatist, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a look at this infographic they kindly published for sharing, or if infographics aren’t your thing, just click on it to go to the original source. Scroll down, and you’ll find the same info in text form.

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com


It’s amazing what a difference fueling for workouts can make in terms of what you can accomplish! In fact…I don’t recommend you try this at home, but if you attend one of my family’s carb-fest reunion dinners and then take a 4 mile walk, your feet will fly! :)

On an everyday basis, though, even something simple like a banana or apple will provide an extra boost of energy for a walk or bike ride. If strength training is on your agenda, that same apple or banana topped with a smidge of nut butter is a nice pre-workout snack.

Today was a strength-training day for me, which meant an increased focus on protein. That’s difficult for me, but I’ll end the day at about 90 grams and that’ll have to do. Not surprising to anyone who reads here, but I will have no problem ingesting enough carbs for tomorrow’s walk or bike ride.

Many thanks to the folks at Greatist for sharing their info in such an easy-to-read way, and I hope you found it useful! If not, I hope you at least enjoyed the pretty colors. :)

Are you careful to fuel your workouts properly? Any problem areas?

15 thoughts on “Powering Workouts Properly

  1. this IS very interesting – very scientific too, and makes perfect sense when you think about it. Thanks, Cammy. You always have such useful posts!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this – very useful info in an easy to comprehend layout. When hiking, I find I need to eat something every couple of miles during the hike. I usually alternate a high protein snack with a carb choice.

  3. Oh my!!! thanks a ton :) this really will help me, especially because I feel a bit “lost” right now on how to eat while working out :)

  4. Mostly, I don’t pay attention, since I figure my workouts aren’t very hardcore:)

  5. I notice that I run a lot better when I have a simple carb 10-20 minutes before I go out. I love it, because I try to make all of my carbs complex, so it gives me an excuse to have a mini Snickers bar or some other form of junk food! I usually don’t feel like eating after a hard workout, so I drink lots of water, and then try to get extra protein in my next meal.

  6. I worry about enough protein (most days, I only get about 50) and even more so now that I’m getting ready to start a more hardcore exercise (blogging about it Friday night). It’s hard because I very very very rarely eat meat, and in a lot of ways, I’m almost veganish in that my only animal products are usually cream in coffee, one serving of Greek yogurt daily, and occasional cheese.

  7. I am a protein lover! I have a protein drink that I drink half of before my lifting workout and then the rest after in the car on the way home. Then I eat breakfast.

    For my long bike rides, I don’t fuel up any more than a larger breakfast, but do bring along carby snacks like dates and coconut water (plus the cupcake stop!). It’s funny because sometimes a certain fuel works great and then the next time it doesn’t. As long as I get some calories in, though – I seem to do okay.

  8. Great info Cammy!!! I am one that can’t take much in my tummy before a workout – even my crazy ones BUT I have learned from the past about how to eat right & post workout too! In my way back then years, I did not eat right at all – salads & no protein & no fat .. had to learn that food is not the enemy & how & what we eat is king! :-)

  9. I am just learning about all of this and find it very interesting. Since I began the 17 Day Diet I have discovered how much longer I feel full when I eat lean protein. That combined with cutting back on carbs has made it so much easier for me to stay on my food plan. It’s so easy yet seems like a miracle!

  10. I have linked to your blog in my post, today.

    This really fell in my lap when I needed the most! Thanks once again!

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