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March 5 2010 12:00 AM

Endurance athletes often refer to it as “hitting the wall,” that moment when the body strikes a sugar-low and can’t muster another move. To combat it, experienced exercisers look to foods high in carbohydrates that restock glycogen levels, and keep healthy snacks within arm’s reach to avoid landing in that energy deficit. Packing a stash in your gym bag ensures you’ll have no excuses to skip, or skimp, on a workout.

Besides finding items that won’t melt, crumble or stale too quickly, your post-workout foods should deliver a combination of healthy carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of fat. WebMD columnist Elaine Magee, MPH, RD recommends snacks provide enough calories to be satisfying (but not so many that it becomes a meal), be low in fat and high in whole grain, fiber and protein to deliver some staying power.
Regain your energy after a difficult workout with these snack tips from the exercise experts at Life Fitness:

Nuts: A fistful of mixed nuts or nutty trail mix delivers protein, carbohydrates, and a helpful salt replacement after a blistering workout. Really any nut will do, just keep intake to about an ounce (around 200 calories) to avoid a calorie overload.

Dried Fruit: It takes almost four cups of grapes to equal the same calorie count in a half a cup of raisins (200 calories). Good to know for those who lack a post-workout appetite. The same can be said for most dried fruits as the dehydration process removes most of the water. Need something more? Try a whole grain fig cookie loaded with carbs, sugars and vitamins.

Nutrition Bars: A behemoth of a category, nutrition bars come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Just read the fine print before you buy. Steer clear of the words “hydrogenated oil” and bars that pack more than 250 calories and seven grams of fat. Instead, seek out bars that are low in sugar and high in protein and fiber.

Remember, seeking the guidance of a Registered Dietician can help you get the most out of your diet. Be sure to consider medications you are taking to prevent undesired food interactions.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, a leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on FitTips and other fitness advice and expertise


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