Our Health Nut and Registered Dietitian, Molly Morgan, answers our customers’ most pressing health and nutrition questions!
If you’d like Molly to answer one of your questions in a future blog post, please email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we feature your question in The Nutty Scoop, we will also send you a pound of your favorite Nuts.com product.
I’m curious about how to best combine nuts and fruits before, during, and after workouts. I bike regularly and try to eat for energy and performance, so I wonder about the most effective use of nuts and fruits, as well as their nutritional benefits. – Larry
Choosing foods with the right nutrient mix before, during, and after workouts will definitely boost performance for bikers and other athletes.
30-45 minutes before an exercise session, it’s best to choose foods that offer quick-digesting carbohydrates and that are low fat. Carbohydrates will help fuel high intensity exercise as they’re burned up. Foods higher in fat content will slow down digestion and are not going to provide usable fuel for your workout unless you are planning a long session (2 hours or more). Try these ideas:
- Dried Fruit! Any variety will do, but a personal favorite of mine is the Berry Mix Dried Fruit.
- Fruit Bars, like Whole Wheat Raspberry Bars.
During the exercise session, the length of your session will how much and what types of fuel you’ll need. If you exercise for less than one hour, just focus on staying well hydrated. When your workout is longer than one hour, quick-to-digest carbohydrates will help maximize your performance. During every hour of exercise, your body burns about 30-60 grams of carbohydrates (or more), so plan on having some carbohydrates with you to power through your workout. These packable options deliver
between 30 and 60 grams of carbs:
- Jumbo Golden Raisins or Raisin Medley. 1.4 ounces (about a handful) of either variety contains about 31 grams of carbohydrates.
- Tropical Fruit Salad. 1.4 ounces (about a handful) have 40 grams of carbohydrates.
- Pretzel Flats. 1 ounce (a small handful) has about 34 grams of carbohydrates.
- Healthy Trail Mix. This mix of raisins, nuts and seeds has 19 grams of carbohydrates in about 1 ounce. The trail mix is a great option if you are also enjoying a carbohydrate sports beverage during your workout.
After an exercise session, check out some refueling snacks with the optimal mix of protein and carbohydrates from my recent Q & A “Great Post-Workout Snacks.” You can also consider one of these snacks with a great mix of carbohydrates and protein:
- Thai Pineapple Sprouted Mix, which has 11 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein per ounce.
- Wild Berry Spouted Trail Mix, which has 13 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein per ounce.
- Mango Goji Fire Sprouted Trail Mix, which has 11 grams of carbs and 5 grams of protein per ounce.
- Create Your Own Mix: combine ½ ounce of your favorite nuts and ½ ounce of your favorite dried fruit for a mix of carbohydrates and protein.