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Fuelling your body before, during and after exercise

The benefits of physical activity are well known — it’s fun, helps manage stress and maintain a healthy weight, etc. Exercise, a healthy diet and not smoking are the keys to good health. So make exercise a part of your life! Below are tips on fuelling your body before, during and after exercise.

Have a light, high-carb meal 1 to 2 hours before exercising. Carbohydrates are ideal before exercise because the body digests and uses them quickly. Examples of carbohydrates are cereal products and fruits and vegetables. Also, drink 500 ml of water 2-3 hours ahead of time. To prevent any discomfort during exercise, avoid foods rich in concentrated sugars, fat and protein, as well as alcohol and caffeine.

During exercise
Eating during exercise is not recommended because it can lead to discomfort. As for hydration, it is recommended to drink 150 to 350 ml of water every 15-20 minutes if you exercise for one hour or less. If you exercise for more than an hour, try an energy drink instead of water. Make your own by mixing equal amounts of fruit juice and water and adding a pinch of salt.

Within 30 minutes of exercising, replenish your body with carbohydrates (such as fresh or dried fruits and cereal products) and proteins (such as milk or soy beverages, cheese, pulses, nuts and grains, eggs, fish, tofu, meat and yogurt). And most of all, don’t forget to drink lots of water!

By following these recommendations, you’re more likely to enjoy exercise! However, if you need to improve the quality or balance of your diet, the right supplements along with personalized advice can really help:

- Protein (whey): To increase muscle mass and improve performance. When recommended in a weight-loss program, whey acts as a meal replacement to cut down on food intake.

- Creatine: It helps increase muscle volume and physical strength, thus indirectly promoting fat burning because it increases the body’s basic metabolism. It can help improve intense, repetitive and short performances.

- Glucosamine: It strengthens cartilage, which plays a vital role in a number of sports, thereby limiting the risk of injury.

- Rhodiola: A medicinal plant traditionally used to boost physical performance and manage stress.

- Antioxidants: They limit oxidizing stress (induced by exercise) and decrease the impact of muscle fatigue on sports performance.