Tips to Help You Prepare for the Fit Livin' Challenge

5. Follow 3-2-1 Eat!

Make 3 meals, 2 snacks and 1 recovery snack your new fueling style. Eating every 2-3 hours has many benefits. It reduces muscle breakdown, increases metabolic rate, reduces hunger, reduces mood swings, improves fat burning and increases stamina and energy.

 4. Experiment with a variety of foods and products before, during and after exercise to determine the type, amount and timing of fuel and fluids that works best for you.

 Foods and fluids containing carbohydrates, electrolytes and small amount of protein before and during activity are best choices. Increase intake of protein after high-intensity training to assist in rebuilding damaged muscle tissue. A plan tailored to YOUR needs will enhance performance. Record your tolerance to learn what works best.

 3. Fill your plate with SUPER foods.

 Super foods benefit your body. They power your brain and correctly and efficiently fuel your body. Super foods fight infection, enhance your immune system and protect against disease. Choosing foods from the Fit Livin' Fuel list will make you a better you!

 Lean proteins-build muscle

 Carbohydrates-replenish glycogen

 Healthy fats-reduce inflammation in the body

 Colorful Fruggies-provide antioxidants/phytochemicals repair and keep cells healthy

 2. Control Alcohol Intake.

 If you have performance goals then keep in mind that drinking alcohol frequently or in large quantities puts you at risk for dehydration, muscle cramping, impairs glycogen repletion and reduces vitamin and mineral absorption. If you are out of control with your drinking you will not be performing your best. Do your best to keep alcohol consumption to 2 drinks on 3 days or less per week most of the time.  It is also common to celebrate with a drink or two after a great race or workout, this is ok but be sure to rehydrate and refuel first.

 1. Train your body to match fluid intake with sweat loss.

First of all, you want to start your workout well hydrated drinking fluids during the day and within the 90 minutes prior to exercise. This is important because it is difficult for most people to match their fluid intake with their sweat loss. However, the goals should be to come as close as you can. If you're exercising less than 1 hour at an easy-moderate effort water is a good choice. However, if working out longer than 1 hour or at higher intensities then sports drink is best. Loss >2% body weight can lead to early fatigue, increased risk of heat illness, extra stress to your heart and decreased performance. Weigh yourself before and after work-outs and see how much weight you're losing. If you're losing >2% of your body weight then you need to drink more! Practice it and you will train your body to become more efficient and tolerate more fluids while exercising.