Jena DeMoss: Move more in May with your Hy-Vee registered dietitians

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, May 5, 2021

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Hy-Vee wants to make fitness a part of your daily routine with our “Move More” wellness challenge. During the month of May, customers can register for the group challenge in Healthie, our free telehealth app and online platform. Customers who track activity in the app throughout the month will have a chance to win Hy-Vee gift cards. Better yet, those enrolled in the “Move More” challenge can participate in virtual check-ins every Monday with our Hy-Vee sports dietitians and learn how to support fitness through nutrition. Each week the group will cover performance nutrition topics like pre-exercise fueling, post-exercise recovery and hydration.

Fueling the body to perform

The energy you put in is the energy you get out. When it comes to fueling the body for performance, carbohydrates are king. They are the preferred fuel source for working muscle and allow our body to exercise at the highest intensity. Whole grains and complex carbohydrates are encouraged leading up to a workout; aim for a pre-exercise meal about 3-4 hours prior to activity. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods like 100 percent whole-wheat bread, bagels, tortillas and crackers; brown rice; whole-grain pasta; beans; potatoes; oatmeal; and whole-grain breakfast cereals. When a pre-exercise meal is not available or digestion time is a barrier, a small carbohydrate-rich snack about one hour prior to exercise is ideal. Think fresh fruit, granola or even just a couple of swigs of your favorite sports beverage for fast-digesting carbohydrate fuel.

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Recover and rebuild after exercise

Resistance training like weightlifting stimulates muscle building, especially when paired with adequate protein intake. Many are familiar with animal-based proteins, like meat, seafood and dairy products. These are excellent food sources of complete proteins, meaning they contain a full spectrum of amino acids. We can also get protein from a variety of plant sources such as beans, legumes, whole grains, soy products, nuts and seeds.

Protein intake should be spread throughout the day and prioritized after a tough workout session. A good rule of thumb is about 20-30 grams of protein in your post exercise meal or snack. While food sources of protein are always preferred, it is not always the most convenient food group to have on hand or on the go. That is where a high-quality protein bar or powder can be a versatile solution.

Rehydrate and replace what you sweat out

Proper hydration is another concept stressed to active individuals and athletes from day one and for good reason. Our body is made up of over 50% water and all our biological functions depend on it. Water is lost during intense exercise, and dehydration can lead to early fatigue, reduced power production and poor concentration. While water will quench your thirst, it will not replace the electrolytes lost in sweat. Optimal hydration requires a balance of both fluids and electrolytes like sodium and potassium and, to a lesser extent, mineral like magnesium and calcium.

Our favorite sports drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde and Body Armor are one way to replenish electrolytes, but these beverages typically miss the mark when it comes to overall electrolyte content and are better served as a source of simple carbohydrates. The sugar content of these sports beverages can help promote endurance and maintain exercise intensity during a tough training session. Use the “3-H Rule” for sports drink during exercises: Drink when it is HOT, workout is HARD, and longer than an HOUR.

Visit for more information and to enroll in our May events.