Nutrition Tips for Walkers

WHAT SHOULD I EAT BEFORE A WALKING WORKOUT?
Have a meal or snack that is balanced with carbohydrate, protein and water. 
If you are eating within 1-2 hours before walking choose foods that area easily digested and will not cause you any stomach upset. 

Some examples of balanced, easily digested snacks are:

  • Low fat yogurt with fruit  and water
  • Ready to eat whole grain cold cereal with low fat milk and water
  • Oatmeal with low fat milk and a piece of fruit and water

WHAT SHOULD I EAT DURING A WALKING WORKOUT?
If walking less than 90 minutes you should have enough fuel from you regular meals to keep you walking strong for the duration. For workouts lasting over 90 minutes a snack that offers some carbohydrate may be beneficial to keep energy levels up. A snack with 20-30 grams of carbohydrate per hour over 90 minutes will offer energy to keep you going.

Some simple, easy to carry snacks include:

  • Fruit
  • Bag of baby carrots
  • Bag of snap peas
  • Granola bar

SHOULD I EAT A GEL OR ENERGY BAR DURING WALKING TRAINING?
If moderate to intense exercise lasts longer than 90 minutes, it is recommended to take in carbohydrates to keep muscles adequately fuelled. In this program, workouts will be no longer than 90 minutes. If a carbohydrate-rich meal has been eaten the night before, or if a small amount of carbohydrate has been ingested the morning of a workout (see question above), the walker should be adequately fuelled.

SHOULD I DRINK WATER OR A SPORTS DRINK DURING TRAINING?
Yes, maintaining hydration is important for optimal walking workouts. Water should be appropriate for most walkers, but in some cases, a sports drink  or juice may be beneficial – for example:

  • If you do not like water,
  • If you have not eaten any carbohydrates for 2 or more hours prior to walking
  • If you choose to take in energy in the form of liquid rather than solid food for longer workouts. 

DO I NEED TO EAT OR DRINK FOR RECOVERY AFTER A WALKING WORKOUT?
No, provided your next meal or snack is balanced with, fluids, carbohydrate and protein.

Some examples of balanced post-walking meals include:

  • Salmon, rice, salad and water
  • Chicken breast, bean salad, grilled vegetable and water
  • Chicken and vegetable sandwich, tomato soup and water
  • Yogurt with fruit and granola

FEELING TIRED DURING WORKOUTS? YOU MAY BE DEHYDRATED.
There is no benefit to over-hydrating for these sessions, but there is a definite cost to being dehydrated. The fluid balance guidelines below can help you ensure that you drink enough every day as well as during your workouts.

Age (years) Basic Fluid Needs
16-30 40 mL per kg body weight per day
30-55 35 mL per kg body weight per day
55-75 30 mL per kg body weight per day
>75 25 mL per kg body weight per day

For example, a 65kg 50 year old would need 2275 ml (35 mL x 65 kg) or about 3 L of fluid each day.

Aim to drink at least 500 mL per hour of walking. Fluid needs will increase if walking in hot weather or more prone to sweating, so be sure to take these factors into account. 

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