Have you been spending more time in your slippers than tennis shoes this winter? After a cold winter season, and an even longer year amidst the COVID pandemic, it is almost time to start spring training. Before jumping into a new workout routine, it is important to come up with a plan that incorporates both fitness and nutrition. That way, you can make sure you are fueling your body properly and getting the most out of your workouts.
Here are 3 tips to help you take care of your body, improve your fitness, and eat for strength:
Eat regular balanced meals.
Fill ½ of your plate with fruits and vegetables, ¼ with carbohydrates, and ¼ with lean protein. Don’t forget a side of dairy such as milk, yogurt, or cheese. Think of each meal as an opportunity to fuel your body and take in essential nutrients.
Use dairy as a recovery beverage or snack.
Research shows that chocolate milk is an effective post-workout recovery drink. It contains protein for muscle building, carbohydrates for energy and to replenish glycogen, and electrolytes to replace what is lost in sweat. Milk also has calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for bone health.
Did you know just one 16-ounce glass of milk provides 16 grams of high-quality protein?
Make sleep a priority.
Adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep is important not only to rest your body and mind, but also to enhance recovery after exercise.
So, with spring fast approaching, remember to have a workout plan that includes regular balanced meals, recovery beverages, and plenty of sleep!
Ashley Delk Licata, PhD, RDN, LDN, CSSD is an Assistant Professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. She is a sports dietitian who has worked with athletes of all levels, and her research focuses on the effects of nutrition timing on body composition in athletes. She is passionate about helping people apply evidence-based research to their everyday lives.