Danielle Hamo Blog

Sports nutrition – what you need to know

Here are some tips regarding nutrition and working out. I categorized them into hydration, protein, alcohol, pre workout food, and post workout food. 

sports nutrition tips


source: www.scandpg,org Sports, cardiovascular, and wellness nutrition organization.



“There is no cheaper, easier, or more effective way to protect performance and safeguard health than staying well hydrated during exercise.” 

  • Even 1% of body weight dehydration can impair performance
  • Drink on a schedule, do not rely on thirst
  • If you workout for less than 1 hour, water is what you should be drinking to rehydrate, no need for sports drinks.
  • Begin exercise well hydrated by drinking throughout the day and prior to exercise.
  • For moderate to high intensity activity lasting longer than 60 minutes sports drink (6-8% carbohydrates) is a good option.
  • Consuming fruits after an exercise will replace the potassium and some fluid lost during the workout.
  • Know your hydration status by monitoring urine color and volume. Dark yellow urine that is low in volume indicated dehydration. light yellow and plentiful is ideal.
  • Weight your self before and after exercise, weight loss of man than 1-2% body weight indicated a need to incase fluid intake throughout exercise.


  • Athlete protein needs are 1.2-1.7 grams protein per kg of bodyweight per day 
  • For example if you are 150 pounds, divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kg (68 kg) and multiple by 1.2 and 1.7 to get a range of protein needs in grams per day (81-115 grams)
  • To maximize muscle growth, have 20-30 grams of high quality protein (such as 3 oz of chicken breast) after training or working out.
  • Eat within two hours of exercise, that is when the body absorbs protein the best.


  • The main goal with alcohol is to stay fully hydrated, because even the smallest amount of dehydration is detrimental to performance.
  • Alcohol acts as a diuretic and increases urine volume and can contribute to dehydration
  • Alcohol also decreases mineral and vitamin absorption, and interferes with post activity recovery by delaying muscle repair and carb repletion.


Pre workout food 

  • Don’t eat too close to workout because it can cause some GI discomfort as well digestion issues because working out competes with the bodes ability to digest. It cannot do both at the same time.
  • You should eat 1-3 hours prior to work out session
  • Food prior to workout should be carbohydrate rich, include some protein (may aid in post exercise muscle soreness) and be low in fiber and fat which can disturb digestion. 
  • pre workout fuel ideas (3 hours prior:)
    • Penut butter and jelly sandwich on toast
    • Peanut butter and banana sandwich
    • greek yogurt with berries
    • oatmeal with low fat milk and fruit
    • low-fat cottage cheese with apple butter, crackers, and grapes
    • fruit and yogurt smoothie with low fat granola
  • Closer to a workout (45-60 minutes prior) you may have a piece of fruit, jam sandwich, sports gel or gummies.

Post workout food 


  • Fuel within 15-60 minutes post training
  • Restore protein, carbohydrate, sodium, potassium, and fluid. 
  • follow the initial post workout high protein snack with a regular mixed meal 3 hours later
  • Post workout meal ideas:
    • Low fat chocolate milk (has been shown to be superior post workout drink, and includes all necessary components: protein, electrolytes, fluid, and carbs)
    • smoothie made with yogurt and frozen berries
    • Sports bar + sports drink (less ideal, but also an option)
    • Graham crackers with peanut butter, milk, and banana
    • Turkey on whole grain wrap with veggies and coconut water


Photo souces: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net tiverylucky, winnond, duron123

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