Foods that Help Power Exercise

ElianaCohenHi, I’m Eliana Cohen, HealthRightISRAEL’s staff nutritionist and personal trainer.

With its cooler weather, fall and our temporal winter months in Israel is a great time for getting fit. Oh, bikehow we love activating those endorphins! And yet it takes work to start a “new leaf” on our lives. Before we head-out for a walk, a run, or a swim we need to consider that there are some foods which actually can enhance our workouts. Read on to see how.

Carbohydrates are required when we exercise. The most important type of carbohydrates we can choose are; 1) whole grains which provide much needed fiber. Also, 2) bananas are an excellent source of energy which provide healthy carbohydrates, as well as vitamin C and B6. And, they are packed with great fiber. 3) Sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium and fiber since they are loaded with beta-carotene, generally known to be beneficial for our eyes.

4) Meat and chicken are great sources of protein that give our bodies extra thiamine and zinc. And a proper amount of 5) eggs (2-3 times per week maximum) can give us a terrific source of protein with their extra benefit of a mineral called choline, which helps us reduce inflammation. Indeed, 6) yogurt provides us with an excellent source of protein, calcium, and “live” probiotic bacteria, essential for sustaining a healthy balance of flora and fauna.

7) Delicious almonds are a source of healthy fats, providing vitamin E, essential for the almondsimmune system giving us that extra power while working-out. The favored, well prepared, 8) poached or baked salmon is loaded with omega 3 essential fats, oils and wonderful protein. This omega 3 is required to assist our health, skin, joints, hair, etc. and we often don’t get enough of this specific ingredient since it is NOT found in many other foods. 9) Well soaked, wholesome, real black beans pack ample proteins, fiber, folate and antioxidants.

We must also choose our 10) leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, seaweed, mustard greens and the like to provide folate, vitamins K, A and C, fiber, calcium and iron.


In all these choices, it’s best to have a carbohydrate snack before you walk, run or swim (digest it for 20-30 minutes before for safety) and after you exercise enjoy one of the above protein and carbohydrate-filled meals to achieve your greatest health and strength benefits.

It’s best to vary your exercise and experiment with new routines, such as;

a) Yoga, b) Pilates, c) walking, d) running, e) jogging, f) biking, and/or g) swimming. In order to effectively lose weight, you should exercise for at least 40 continuous minutes about 3-days a week, or at least have moderate-vigorous physical activity to equal 150 minutes a week.

Feel free to contact me, see the display ad in the newsletter for Eliana Cohen, certified nutritionist, and physical trainer.



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