SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Oct. 19, 2004 – Though active people typically pay close attention to their fitness regimen – proper cardiovascular workout, strength training and stretching - they may be making crucial mistakes in their diet. Not putting the right nutrients in your body could ultimately affect the overall fitness benefits of an active lifestyle. To stress the importance of proper nutrition, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s non-profit fitness advocate, shares the following nutrition mistakes commonly made by active people.
- Skipping breakfast. Experts agree – skipping breakfast just means you’ll be hungrier later, which can make it more difficult to control both your diet and your weight.
- Not eating before a workout. Providing the body with food for energy allows for a better, more productive exercise session. Try eating a pre-workout meal consisting of carbs, a little fat and some protein.
- Waiting too long after exercise to eat. One of the best things you can do to prepare for your next workout is eat a small meal that includes both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your last session.
- Replacing meals with energy bars or replacement drinks. Many energy bars offer little more nutrition than your average candy bar and replacement drinks may lack adequate fiber. There’s really no substitute for healthy whole foods.
- Eating too much protein and not enough carbs. The current popularity of low-carb diets has many people trying to fuel their workouts with poultry instead of pasta. But carbohydrates are essential to effective workouts.
- Trusting the accuracy of dietary supplement labels and claims. Because the supplement industry remains largely unregulated, manufacturers can make unproven and untested claims about their products. Do your homework before putting anything into your body.
- Not consuming the right amount of calories for the amount of activity you do (i.e., too many or too few). Your caloric intake should be sufficient to support your active lifestyle, but not so abundant that weight control becomes a challenge.
- Believing that exercise means you can eat whatever you want. Whether you exercise a little or a lot, you still need to follow a healthy, balanced diet and watch you portion sizes.
- Not drinking the right amount of fluids. Dehydration can be a serious problem, especially if you exercise in hot, humid environments. Drinking fluids before, during and after exercise will help you maintain adequate hydration levels.
- Jumping on the latest diet craze in search of that elusive “edge.” It’s tempting to believe there is some magic formula out there that will dramatically improve our performance or lose weight, but the best approach is to stick to the basics and follow a healthy, balanced diet.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.