Alert
Close

Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
AARP Games Tournament

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Fuel Your Workouts

Here's what to eat and drink before, during, and after your workout to optimize performance and boost your immune system.

What you put into your body before and after a workout may be as important as the kind of exercise you do. Research has shown that if you're not properly fueled, vigorous exercise can compromise your immune system rather than boost it—by breaking down muscles instead of building them up and by depleting your body of essential nutrients. Here's a simple plan to optimize your performance.

Before You Exercise: Power Up

What to eat

To avoid cramps or nausea, have your last full meal three to four hours before exercising. Then, an hour before you work out, eat a small snack—100 to 200 calories—that's predominantly carbohydrates. Carbs are key, says Wendy Bazilian, Dr.P.H., R.D., coauthor of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, because "they go into the bloodstream faster than protein or fat." Good choices: half a banana, a handful of grapes, a piece of toast with some jam.

What to drink

To ward off dehydration, drink 8 to 16 ounces of water within an hour of working out.

During Your Workout: Avoid a Crash

What to eat

Exercising for an hour or less? You probably don't need to eat during your workout—you have enough glucose in your blood and glycogen stored in your muscles, says Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. A boost if you need one: a 100-calorie, high-carb snack, such as half an energy bar.

What to drink

Bazilian recommends 6 to 8 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise. If you end up exercising more than an hour, try downing a sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade.

After You Exercise: Build Muscle

What to eat

Your post-workout snack (100 to 150 calories) should include protein for muscle repair and recovery. Jackie Buell, Ph.D., R.D., director of sports nutrition at Ohio State University, says the recommended ratio of carbohydrates to protein is about 3 to 1. Some good after-workout snacks: low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit, apple slices with low-fat peanut butter, or half a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread.

What to drink

Start with 16 to 24 ounces of water. "You want to be rehydrated within an hour," says Gerbstadt.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% off eye exams and 30% off eyeglasses at Pearle Vision.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.