Food as Fuel


Every day on the way to school, my four year old son asks me questions like “Who made the earth?” “Why are the dark clouds the rain clouds?” “Can we make a baby brother and a baby sister?” Yes, the types of questions I want to attempt to answer at 7:45AM. Most of the time I give him a quick answer and if he continues to pry, I simply respond with “Let’s ask Daddy when we get home.”

This morning’s question of the day was “Why do we eat food?”

My immediate response was “You know how cars need gasoline to run? Well, bodies need food to run.” But then it really got me thinking — why do we eat food? For pleasure? For comfort when we’re sad or lonely? As a reward when we’ve done something good? Because we are bored? For social events?

Think about it — we eat for so many reasons other than to fuel our body. And when you really break it down, technically, humans need food solely to fuel their body. Everything else is just extra. And sometimes people form relationships with food.

Don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite things to do is cook. And what I love just as much is seeing people enjoy it. It makes me happy. And there are very few social events I attend that don’t involve food (and adult beverages). It just makes me wonder, how did we evolve into a society that puts so much focus on social/habitual eating. It’s our go-to form of entertainment.

I’m going to start thinking about what I am putting in my body and the reasons I am doing so. Try to be more conscious of my choices. I also need to do a better job of fueling for workouts.

When it comes to fueling your body for a workout, it is recommended that you fuel BEFORE a workout with water and healthy carbohydrates (whole grain toast, yogurt, fruit). Your body can easily digest carbohydrates so it can then focus on providing oxygen and blood to your muscles.

AFTER a workout, it’s recommended to fuel your body with water, carbohydrates and protein. The protein helps repair and grow the muscles that you just worked on.

Because I am not a nutritionist, here’s what the American Heart Association says about fueling for workouts.

So tell us —

What are your favorite foods to eat before/after a workout?



2 thought on “Food as Fuel”

  1. Shannon says:

    If I’m trying to be good and prep for a workout, which is rare, I drink a lot of water over several hours leading up to the workout. I like to think that I am getting my body ready for the forthcoming dehydrating. I have little idea as to if this is sound thinking, but it’s what I do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t fuel for workouts, but I have changed my eating habits. I am more conscious of what I am eating and why. I have found foods that I have always liked are good for me. Plain yogurt with frozen berries, smoothies with soy milk and berries, salads, nuts, whole wheat crackers and bread. I am eating less meat than I used to.

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