Food and Fluid Guidelines Before, During, and After Exercise

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Athletes who are properly fueled and hydrated before, during, and after exercise can improve training, increase performance, and decrease fatigue. Many commercial products are marketed to athletes and are designed to be consumed at specific periods: before, during, and after exercise. Are these products really necessary? This article reviews the research on nutrition support for the athlete surrounding exercise and discusses the different nutritional needs of the recreational athlete versus the elite athlete. Guidelines for macronutrient intake before, during, and after exercise are provided along with decision trees to help the practitioner guide the athlete to proper fueling strategies.

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