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High Performance Nutrition

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Reema Kanda, RD, Clinical Dietitian at Hoag Orthopedic Institute
High Performance Nutrition

How can I get most out of my work out? Stay hydrated and fuel up! Water is most essential nutrient for life. More than half of the human body is composed of water, and it is impossible to sustain life without it. It regulates body temperature, lubricates joints and body tissues, and transports nutrients and waste through the body. Adequate hydration before, during, and after exercise is essential for optimal performance, safety, and comfort.

Exercise can lead to substantial water and electrolyte loss from sweat leading to dehydration. Variability exists between each individual in regards to sweat loss; therefore fluid needs will vary based on duration and intensity of your activity.


  • Drink before you’re thirsty. Thirst is a signal that your body is headed towards dehydration. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests individuals should develop a personalized fluid replacement program. Consider drinking 16 to 20 fluid ounces of water at least 2-3 hours before exercise and drink 8 to 12 fluid ounces of water 10 to 15 minutes before exercise.
  • Drink early and at regular intervals throughout the activity. Drink 3-8 fluid ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes for short duration (< 60 minutes), low to moderate intensity activity. For moderate to high activity lasting longer than 60 minutes, drink sport drinks (6-8% carbohydrate) to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes. Drink 3-8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Weigh yourself before and after the exercise. Any weight loss is likely from fluid loss. Drink 20 to 24 fluid ounces of water for every pound lost.
  • Check the color of your urine. If urine is the color of apple juice, drink up! You want your urine to resemble the color of lemonade.

Fuel Up!

Eat before you exercise to optimize your workout and fuel your muscles. Consume healthy carbohydrates for an energy boost to protein for staying power. Eat a snack at least 1 to 3 hours before your activity.

Snack Ideas

  • Toast with slices of banana and cinnamon
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Greek yogurt and trail mix
  • Handful of nuts and raisins (two parts raisins: one part nuts)
  • Apple wedges with peanut or almond butter
  • Steel cut oats with low-fat milk and berries
  • Coffee fan? Try Coffee with 1 cup of milk. The protein and carbs in the milk provides sustained energy. The caffeine provides a little kick of energy.


You must replace muscle fuel (carbohydrate) utilized during practice. Protein will aid in repair of damaged muscle tissue and to stimulate development of new tissue. Consider 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein as soon as possible after the workout.

Snack Ideas

  • Low-Fat Chocolate Milk is a perfect combination of hydration, carbohydrate, and protein for recovery.
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Protein shake made with whey protein, water and small banana
  • Turkey slices and soft cheese wedge with apple slices
  • Recovery smoothie made with low-fat milk and fruit.


Even a few extra pounds can make a difference in the health of your knees. Did you know that studies should that for every 1-pound a person is overweight; it adds 4 to 6 pounds of pressure to the knees. Extra weight results in increase wear and tear on the knees and pain. For instance, when someone loses 10 pounds, they are removing 40 to 60 pounds of pressure off their knees. Often patients who are experience pain in their knees can significantly reduce the pain with weight loss.