6 Weeks to Go!

Nutrition Tips Series
Developed by Lisa Lovejoy, Sports & Wellness Dietitian


Providing your body the carbohydrates it needs in the form of a small snack or calorie containing beverage within 60-90 minutes before exercise will help you maintain adequate blood sugar levels during activity.  For some people, including a small serving of low-fat protein along with their carbohydrate containing snack helps keep them from feeling hungry and settles the stomach.  Just remember that carbohydrates are the primary source of energy during exercise, so don’t replace all of your carbs with protein!

Some food suggestions for pre-exercise snacks include:

  • Low-fat granola/cereal/sports nutrition bars

  • Fruit and low-fat cheese (such as string or cottage cheese)

  • Low or non-fat yogurt

  • A small fruit smoothie

  • Bread/crackers/tortilla with a couple of slices of lean meat

  • Toast and a hard boiled egg

If you will be exercising for longer than 60 minutes, it is also a good idea to replenish some of the carbohydrates you have burned along the way.  This will help insure that you have the energy you need to feel good and finish strong.  Foods or beverages consumed during exercise need to be easy to digest.  Liquid calories are absorbed more efficiently than solids, so a sports beverage can be an easy way to maintain adequate blood sugar levels.  Aim for consuming 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour during exercise.  Some examples of foods/beverages that meet this need include:

  • 16-32 oz of Gatorade/Powerade or other sports beverage

  • 48-96 oz of G2 or other low-calorie sports beverage (calories provide energy – “zero calorie” beverages with artificial sweeteners don’t count!)

  • 1-1 packets of Gu, Clif Shots, or other sports gel

  • 7-15 Shot Bloks

  • 1-2 Clif/Luna/other performance bars

  • 2-4 dates or 6-12 pieces of dried mango